Barrel Horses Are Faster Today…Or Are They?

With another phenomenal NFR in the books the question of whether barrel horses are faster than they have been in the past comes up. If you ask most people, they would agree that barrel horses are faster now than even ten years ago. But are they, really?

The First Step to Engaging the Hindquarters

The first step to engaging the hindquarters is having the ability to flex your horse. Yes, collection and engaging the hindquarters is driven from the withers back. However, you will never achieve that drive without having flexion mastered. Work on mastering the skill of flexion and you will be well on your way to having a horse that drives from behind with fully engaged hindquarters.

The Strong Back Drill

The strong back drill is simple but extremely important for you and your horse to master. A horse with a strong top line who knows how to carry himself collected will stay sounder longer and be better able to perform. In contrast, a horse with a weak back who travels with his back hollowed out will likely have soundness issues and could, worst case scenario, wind up with kissing spines.


If you want a strong horse that will not only perform great but will maintain that greatness for years to come, then you need to implement the strong back drill into your program.

When to Blanket Your Horse

As the days get colder the question of whether or not to blanket your horse always comes up. Should I blanket at all? If so, what kind should I use? Does it need to be all of the time? Or can I take it off during the day? What if I don’t plan on riding during the winter?


For those unfamiliar with blanketing, it can be a bit overwhelming. That is why I have decided to talk about it today. After reading this article you should be able to identify exactly when you should blanket your horse and when he is better off naked.

The Tire Barrel Racing Drill

The tire barrel racing drill should be a tool in every barrel racer’s tool box. Not only does it teach the perfect circle to young horses but it can also be great for seasoned horses. From working on body shape to fixing shouldering issues, almost everyone can find something that this drill will improve. So, get some old tires and saddle up!

Warming up Your Barrel Horse

A critical factor in having a good barrel run is ensuring that you are warming up your barrel horse correctly. A barrel horse that is correctly warmed up will be primed and ready to make the best run possible. In contrast, a barrel horse that is not warmed up correctly could, at best, make a poor run, and, at worst, end up injured. As a jockey, it is your responsibility to make sure that you prepare the horse underneath you in the best possible way.


While warm up routines will vary from rider to rider and from horse to horse, the fundamentals of what occurs and what the desired outcome is are all the same. If you are looking for a routine for warming up your barrel horse, then you have come to the right place.

2019 Barrel Racing Goal Setting Workshop

With 2019 nearly here, I thought it would be appropriate to go through the barrel racing goal setting workshop. There is nothing like the new year to set some new goals that will help bring your barrel racing dreams closer to reality. I encourage you to go through this workshop, following each step as instructed. You may be presently surprised next December when you see how many things you have achieved!

Barrel Racing Warm Up Etiquette

A barrel racing warm up can better be called a swirling vortex of death. Crazy horses ridden by even crazier women are forced together in an often small enclosure, working out the quirks and kinks prior to making their runs. To anyone new to the sport it can be horribly intimidating. And, even if you have been around the sport for some time, it can be dangerous.


But it doesn’t have to be that way. Cutters warm up their horses in a very respectable and controlled manner. Why can’t a barrel racing warm up be the same?


If you are a barrel racer, please read on. There is no reason why we can’t emulate the cutting world. If everyone followed the below rules, the barrel racing warm up situation would be much safer and saner!

4 Success Tips for Training the Barrel Pattern

Do you have a horse that you would like to start training the barrel pattern to? I am excited for you! There is nothing like starting a horse from scratch on the pattern to a fully trained barrel horse. There will be ups and downs, don’t get me wrong, but the process can be very rewarding.


To help you out in training the barrel pattern, I have compiled a list of four success tips before you get started.

5 Things I Learned from Watching the 2018 NFR Barrel Racing

This year I watched the NFR barrel racing every day without fail. I was entranced by every single run and could hardly contain my excitement each time I watched it. Those girls and horses are beyond talented and I can only hope to be even half as talented as they are some day.


As I reflect on the NFR barrel racing this year I couldn’t help but notice that there are some things that I have realized after watching it. Beyond the fact that those horses are incredible and those girls are talented riders, there were some additional realizations that I made this year that I think would be of value to those of you who also take part in the sport.