One of the fastest and most spectacular elements in rodeo

Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Though both boys and girls compete at the youth level and men compete in some amateur venues and jackpots, in collegiate and at rodeos, it is primarily an event for women. It combines the horse's athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver a horse in a cloverleaf pattern around three barrels (typically three fifty-five gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena. Explosive turns and acceleration are inherent to barrel racing.

Working terrain

Indoor and Outdoor arenas.  Slightly deep ground is preferred.

Rest place/daily stay

Paddock pasture and stall

Horse characteristics

Typcial barrel horse is a Quarter horse, however you may see any breed in the arena.  From Arabians to Thoroughbreds.  Short cannon bones and low set hocks are desired for sprinting speed and agile turns. Good bones and good feet are essential to the logevity of a barrel horse.  As the sport is regeriously demanding on the horse's body.

Horses behaviour

Top barrel horses are usually calm in nature outside of the arena.  They can be ridden with one hand and are usually not spooky as they see a variety of sights at barrel races and rodeos.  Going into the arena is when you will see the spirit of the barrel horse, many horses tend to "on the muscle" or ready to run. 

Shoeing location

Shoeing areas in their stables.

Shoeing advice

Breakover points and heel support are generally important for most barrel horses. Having enough sole depth and a shorter toes in front and behind tend to be better for not straining  tendons and ligaments.  

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Horse and rider in a barrel race

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