More Winning Ways by Lyndee Stairs

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?

As the new year starts, we are off to many races, I get the questions often about leg wraps, liniments and poultices. To use them or not?

For starters, one of the most important considerations is that your trailer is safe and comfortable for your horse. Have you checked the trailer floor underneath the mats recently, to see what kind of condition it is in? If it is a steel trailer, are there any places that are beginning to rust that could be dangerous to your horse? Check the door latches and hinges to be sure they are in good working condition and no water leaks in when it rains. Are the tires in good shape? When was the last time the brakes were checked and the bearings packed? Do all the trailer lights work properly? These are all things that need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure the safety of your horse.

When hauling, we offer our horses a drink of water about every four hours. You may want to carry water from home with you to encourage him to drink.