More Winning Ways by Lyndee Stairs

Along the progression to making a winning barrel horse, there are important steps to be taken.

Equally important as the horse’s pedigree, correct conformation, good nutrition and health, is proper basic training.

The odds of a young horse completing his training and given a chance to become a great barrel horse are considerably higher when his basics are complete with a proper foundation. I call it building on the basics. But you can’t build without the basics.

Barrel racing is all about timing and smoothness and sitting down deep in your saddle and getting up and going fast. And also staying on, in the middle of your horse.

This is what the saddle horn is for. It is there to aide you in making that winning run. It helps you to sit deep and get up and be smooth and go fast. Never overlook the value of a saddle horn for a barrel racer.

Recently I was riding one of my favorite young horses and really enjoying it, I think the horse was too. The weather was great and the horse was working exceptionally well. He is just that kind of a horse. Just one of those great moments in a barrel horse trainer’s life. I was loping around the barrels and thinking to myself what a wonderful country we live in and how great it is to be able to pursue our passions: riding horses and barrel racing and also: boy, this is going to be a nice barrel horse.

You have just returned home after a very disappointing day at the local barrel race jackpot.  You have owned Brownie for the last 11 years and your dad gave him to you as a present and you could never part with him, but you want to win.

This is a dilemma many barrel racers have faced at one time or another. The first thing that sets in is fear.

Where will I find what I am looking for?  How much will I have to pay? Will he be sound? What if I buy him and find out that I don’t like him?