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Speed Events

As adults, vacation days are few and far between. Precious free time is used not only for traveling the world, but for accomplishing things we’ve dreamed of doing before it’s too late. One of my dreams has always been...
Go to any barrel racing or pole bending competition, and you’re bound to see at least a few horses spinning in circles, out of control or refusing to enter the in-gate. Their worried riders may try to back the...
Whether your young horse has come of age, or your more mature mount is ready for a change of careers, you won’t get far by simply pointing him at a cloverleaf pattern and hoping for the best. Champion barrel...

Riding the Run

Aside from the thrill of speed, what draws many riders to barrel racing is the fact that it’s a purely objective competition. You don’t need a lot of silver on your saddle, the latest show apparel or the best-bred...
  A systematic training approach addresses your horse’s fitness from head to tail. Whether you run barrels or trail ride, regular use of basic dressage movements can improve your horse’s athleticism, achieve a deeper level of communication and responsiveness and...

Better Pole Bending

Aside from barrel racing, pole bending is the most popular speed event in America. Throughout show season, at local competitions, gymkhanas and breed shows, you’ll find the top riders dashing through a set of six poles so fast it’s...

Cowboy Mounted Shooting

About the AuthorKim and Kari Baker are identical twins who raise Appaloosas on their Montana...
Practice makes perfect, right? Yes, but if your speed event practice consists of running a pattern over and over again, all that hard work could backfire. Horses that run a barrel or pole pattern for practice begin to think...
Neck reining to a western horse is like a steering wheel is to a car. Without it, you have no control over where you go. It's one of the first fundamentals a western horse learns, and without good neck-reining...

Longeing Safely

Don’t forget your safety sense when longeing. The following guidelines will help keep you safe. Equipment: A cotton longeline, rather than synthetic, will stop rope burns.  A broken...
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