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Speed Events

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...
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...
Barrel Racing

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 where he...
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...
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