Rodeo Barrel Racing Tips : Horse Barrel Racing Equipment Tips
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Rodeo Barrel Racing Tips : Horse Barrel Racing Equipment Tips

August 16, 2019


Hi, I’m Holly Heidemann and today on behalf
of Expert Village we’re going to talk about the equipment involved with barrel racing.
The number one piece of equipment that I have all the children and young riders put on is
a helmet. Many people know about helmets because there are some people that I won’t mention
names, but there are some people that have suffered falls and had some really serious
injuries because of falling from a horse. A beginner rider, or a rider that’s inexperienced,
or a young rider should definitely wear a helmet. As you advance, there are some people
who choose not to wear them, that is a choice that’s up to you but I like all young riders
and all inexperienced riders to make sure they wear a helmet. A helmet does not protect
you from everything; you still have to use really good common sense. The one thing you
want to watch is you want to make sure that your footing in the arena is very good, that’s
a safety feature. You want to make sure people have taken care of the ground. You want to
make sure that you have, you know where the gate is if your horse is a free runner that
you know where you’re going to be able to stop once you get out the gate. There are
many safety features involved; it all starts with the helmet. I ride with spurs. This is
a pretty heavy set of spurs. You can have all different kinds of spurs. Spurs, a lot
of people believe, are too aggressive and even abusive to a horse. Spurs are only abusive
if the rider uses them that way. I like to use spurs as an extension of my leg. I’m very
careful not to gouge a horse. It’s a touch and all it is, is to make things very light
for your horse. You’re not kicking the air out of them; you’re just using that as an
extension so they can feel all of your cues. This is a cavision. This has become one of
my most favorite pieces of equipment. The reason why is it holds the horse’s mouth closed.
If you’ve ever noticed when you pull on your horse and they go to open their mouth, you’re
not getting any kind of control out of that. This creates them not being able to do that.
So most of my horses when I’m doing my horsemanship which we’ll talk about in a moment, I like
to use some kind of a ring snaffle or a D-ring snaffle, meaning it’s very close to the horse’s
sides of their mouth where the contact comes with the reins. And then the mouthpiece is
either a two, or sometimes a three piece mouthpiece. The other thing I talked about with Bailey,
when we were talking about his confirmation, is that he has a very short neck. Because
he has a short neck, he has a tendency to elevate his head in his turns. Not to the
point where he would be a runaway, or a problem, or anything like that, but it just doesn’t
get me quite as snappy of a turn as I would like and so this is a piece of equipment called
an over the poll tie down. Again I’m a big fan for horses that have short necks, this
really helps them. I don’t them in this all the time; I only run them in it. The reason
why is it goes over their head, behind their ears, and over their eyes. And what that does,
is when they elevate their head it puts pressure on it and brings it back down. A horse that
gets used to this knows it’s there and Bailey will just kind of run and keep his head a
little lower. He runs much more comfortably that way. If you were to work a horse in that
piece of equipment all the time, it could make them sore over time and you don’t want
that. So I, as soon as they know it’s there, I go ahead and take it off when I’m working
them on a regular basis and then just go back to using it when I run them. As far as reins
go, I like leather reins. One reason that they’re nice is that they feel really good
in your hands. The other thing I like about them, I like these braided ones, because there’s
a little bit of friction there like when you pull the reins through your hand it doesn’t
pull through. It’s a nice, nice set of reins. I like my reins fairly short. When you run,
you’ll notice that when I go to work my horse in a few minutes. If your reins are not short
when you go to take that turn around the barrel, what happens is you have to much flappage
on the outside and they can just kind of fade away from it. So if you’re having a problem
with that, shorten up your reins. This is the other piece of equipment I use on my horse.
These are called overreach boots. They’re a little dirty because I just ran this weekend
in them, but you’ll notice these have a little bulb in the back, that just keeps those from
turning around. It’s very uncomfortable, the horse’s leg would be like this – say this
was to turn around – and they’d be trying to run with that against them. It’s really
uncomfortable. So make sure you get a kind that have a bulb in it like this to try and
keep them from turning it. It won’t work a hundred percent but it will help.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. People should know that a young horse needs a snafel bit, but as your horse gets older the mouth gets toughfer even if you use a bit that keeps the mouth soft and as the horse gets older most horse people switch bits, also this is why the horse opens the mouth and it becomes a battel to get your horse to stop or rein. Most horse people use a tie down to help your horse keep its head down in training or when your going to run.

  2. Tyin a horse's head down is uncomfortable… Shouldn't buy a horse with a high head set if you don't want that and are going to tye them down…

  3. a caveson is NOT used for holding the mouth closed. thats what a figure 8/flash noseband is. expert village needs to get better experts.

  4. good point, but some horses throw their head and a tie-down can be a safety feature too. If someone is making a horses head stay down they need to do some training

  5. What the hell? Of course young inexperienced riders should wear helmets, but then again, everyone should wear a helmet!! it doesn't matter how good of a rider you are, or how calm your horse is, if that horse spooks unexpectedly, you could still fall and hurt yourself really badly. Take your own damn advice, "Expert"Village!

  6. Teaching proper collection first is better than using a tie down or a martingale. Horses that have classical training have a rounded top line and not only do not need such devices to keep there head down they are more balanced and do not where out as quickly.

  7. yes you can barrel race a thoroughbred. generally they are longer bodied so crosses are prefered. the best barrel horse I have ever had was an arabian(full of spirit and lots of go go)/thoroughbred(running)/quarter horse(turning and speedy)

  8. does everyone know what saddle pad would be best to use while barrel racing? and for someone on a budget?

  9. I barrel race in really light spurs, not bumper, but not POINTED. Sure I kick him pretty hard coming home, but If it makes go faster it makes him go faster, and half the time I hit his girth…same with whips, people thinks whips are mean and they CAN be if used wrong…. but I have to use whips and spurs in poles and barrels because my horse doesn't finish turns

  10. @01nitchy I barrel race an appy/paint, lol that's why i know only certain appys can barrel race cause mine sucks at it….lol, he's 20 years old and a trail horse though (He kicks ass on poles though)

  11. @wdfrider With spurs, as she says in the video, can actually be nicer to the horse than just using leg. Some horses don't respond to leg as much for various reasons – they just aren't as sensitive on their sides; their previous owner kicked the crap out of them, making them respond negatively to leg; they're just a lazy horse. Horses that aren't as sensitive on their sides, for whatever reason, will feel a light pressure of a spur better than squeezing/kicking.

  12. @palomino674 A tie down is different then a cavesson, your right but its not an english nose band, a cavesson closes the mouth of the horse while running. a Tie downs porpuse is more to attach to the tie down strap to keep head low… they are both used in western..

  13. It's never better. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I think pain is better than direction, but you should reread my post and maybe learn a little about spurs before commenting on them.

  14. If you're judging spurs based on sight, then I know you don't know what you're talking about. How about you learn about them, learn about horses, and when you are experienced enough try them and see how helpful they can be for the right horse. I'm not advocating using them for every horse. You need to understand each horse you ride to get a better understanding of what tools they need and don't need.

  15. Spurs are an aid. Its the ignorance in people that dont realize that and give spurs a bad name. Horses can be taught to back up with just spurs. Your point is invalid.

  16. Spurs Arnt harmful at all!!! And natural horsemanship you can wear spurs!!!! Also good riders that want there horses to learn ground rules instead of letting your horse pull you around so YOUR the Boss not the horse!!

  17. I like what she says about spurs because thats the same way i use them. But i do not like helmets because they do not protect you

  18. If you pull on a horses mouth and they open their mouth it is a sign that you are hurting them. Don't tie their mouths shut.

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