Rodeo Barrel Racing Tips : How to Look for a Barrel Racing Horse

Uploaded by expertvillage on 11.03.2008

Hi, I'm Holly Heidemann and today on behalf of Expert Village we're going to talk about
what to look for in a barrel horse, not only confirmation, but attitude and some other
things that sometimes take you a little longer to find out then what you went, when you first
meet your ride. This is Bailey and he is an eight year old quarter horse. He does not
by any means have perfect confirmation, but he has a lot of things that I do look for
in a barrel horse. He is my current barrel horse that I'm currently competing on. The
biggest thing that is his detriment is when looking at this horse he has a very long head.
However, as we'll talk about there are some conformational faults that I will overlook
if the horse is a performer. This horse is one that I raised and did not sell because
of his long head and it turned out very good for me because he's been an excellent barrel
horse. If you look at Bailey's neck, it's rather short and you'll notice that standing
here his head is rather high - also a fault, but one that I can use some different equipment
to kind of overcome and so you'll see that when we get to the equipment portion. What
I do with a horse that has a confirmation fault like that to kind of make up for that
in a way. What he does have that's excellent is he has nice, nice sloping shoulder, he
has very short cannon bones which is the area from the knee to the ankle, he has really
a nice slope to his pastern. If you look at his back, it's very short on top; his underline
is very long underneath, that makes for a strong back and he can really get with it
and run and stretch out because of how long he is underneath. We'll go around to the back
of Bailey and take a look at his back end. One of his other faults, he does fidget a
little (laughing). But if you look at his back end, I want you to notice how if you
look at his hip and how it flows to his tail he has a really nice low tail set. And what
that usually goes along with is a really long line down his buttocks, down this way, into
his hock. I, I like a really long line to there. Which means his hocks are going to
be set very close to the ground. What that does is it allows him to power out of his
turns, it makes it much easier for him to get down and in the ground, and to be able
to push out of a turn. If he were to have a flatter behind up here and a tail set higher,
it's more like a shelf. Those kind of horses usually have a harder time getting down in
the ground for there turns. They have a tendency to, to not be able to really gather before
they start to run toward the next barrel which we'll talk about in our lessons in a few moments.
So those are the things that Bailey has that are very, very good. His faults we're going
to overcome because one thing that Bailey has that goes with what I look for in a barrel
horse is an excellent disposition. He is very fidgety, which a lot of barrel horses are,
they have to have an, a fire to have a desire to run. What he does have though that's very
good is he's extremely focused. When he gets in the arena he's very focused on his job
and horses that are great barrel horses really love to do it. If you come by a horse that
is, is not enjoying their job - they're not going to be very good at it. So that's really
the number one thing I look for in a barrel horse beyond confirmation is they have to
have the desire to do this job. You can tell that pretty soon after you start to work them.
So Bailey is an excellent prospect, I have some that are better conformed, but like I
said his disposition and attitude and, and his desire to do this job really fills in
for some of his faults.