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Speed Events

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...
Western spurs

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...

Lead the Way

For a fast and safe run, it’s imperative that your barrel horse change leads between the first and second barrel. "It’s actually scary for a horse to turn on the wrong lead because he’s in a position...
Molly Powell is a top barrel racing competitor and clinician and holds the title of 2004 World Reserve Barrel Racing Champion. Powell offered her insight on controlling a barrel horse before and after a run in the January, 2009 issue of...
Photo: micadew on flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0 Q. How should I shift my weight while going toward, around and then away from a barrel so that I don’t hinder my horse’s ability to make a quick turn? A. The best way to...

Cue Speed Between Barrels

Q. My 6-year-old barrel horse runs to the first barrel and home from the last barrel well, but between barrels she shuts off and practically lopes. I’ve tried kicking and even a crop and spurs to no avail. My...
Q. I always have trouble knocking over barrels. What am I doing wrong? A. Most of the time this is a result of not using your inside leg (the leg closest to the barrel) to control your horse. Many riders...
Photo: Dean Gugler/flickr.com Q. What is the best way to increase my young horse’s flexibility for barrel racing? A. Choosing the right bit and using your leg pressure effectively will help your horse build flexibility and bend. A horse must understand...
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