More Winning Ways by Lyndee Stairs

It seems that no sooner does one season end, another begins. I am talking about the barrel racing season here. As soon as the excitement of all the association finals winds down, one starts looking forward to next year and to the dream of owning that special horse that will take them to the winner’s circle the following year. And this is never more true than when December rolls around and we can all start running our futurity horses.

Quite often I am asked “How do I make a rodeo horse”? 

The move from jackpots or futurities to rodeos is a big step and also requires training.

You need to prepare your horse by exposing him to stressful situations. You need to make sure he knows his job and is confident and calm. He needs to know that barrels grow out of all different types of arenas. Your horse needs to be able to focus on his job and not worry about any of his surroundings.

...Or maybe you should? Not sure where that saying came from, but I have always thought it was odd.

I have been training barrel horses for 20 years, and have ridden horses for just about all of my life. During this time, I have seen and experienced many different kinds of problems because of a horse’s teeth.

Our outlook on training is to keep the horses happy. We are always working to keep training a pleasant experience for a horse.  Remember, it is hard for a horse to forget a maneuver that included pain.


Nothing can replace the time you spend getting to know a horse. Pay attention to their personalities.  Watch them eat. Spend time brushing them. Look for changes. This way you can detect a problem or soreness before it becomes a big issue. Then find the appropriate professional to help, veterinarian, dentist, chiropractor or maybe even just you.