Speed Events

You’re in the alley ready for your barrel run, and your horse is just as excited as you are. But although you thought you were prepared, your horse starts slow from the alley, or he tips a barrel. Maybe...
Did you hear that the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) would be requiring helmets for barrel racers under age 18? If you did, you’re not alone. News of such a change apparently originated on Facebook and quickly circulated through...
You have a need for speed, but your horse is more interested in moving through life at a leisurely lope. No problem. This helmet cam video shows you the perspective of rider Jill Matson as she and her horse,...
As if barrel racing isn't exciting enough, the organizers of Barrelnanza decided to put a spin on the sport. Competitors in the bareback barrels competition not only rode without saddles, but gave their bits and bridles the night off,...
Barrel racers know that overpracticing the pattern can sour a speed horse. But what do the pros do during the week to keep their horses in tip-top shape, both mentally and physically, for competition season? Champion barrel racer and trainer Sue Smith...
An ill-fitting saddle can cause training and behavior problems as well as unsoundness in the horse's back. While many riders are aware of the importance of saddle fit, no scientific evaluation of western saddle fit had been published until...
Barrel horses have earned the reputation of being a high-strung group of out-of-control animals. In reality, most are good-natured, willing to obey commands and easy to handle. However, the small percentage of barrel horses that display appalling behaviors are...
The speed of barrel racing makes it exciting for competitors and observers alike. Every second counts, and even the smallest mistakes will cost you. A fraction of a second can make all the difference between winning and losing. Here are...

Are Spurs for You?

In every western riding discipline, from western pleasure and roping to cutting, reining and working cow horse events, spurs can be found among the rider’s repertoire of equipment. It’s rare to see a cowboy or cowgirl riding without them. If a...

The Point of Spurs

Spurs come in a variety of types and styles. How mild or severe they are depends on the type of rowel, which is the wheel on the end of the shank. Here is how spurs rank, from one to...
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