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Fifteen Questions with No. 15 NFR Barrel Racer – Amberleigh Moore

She may have qualified in the fifteenth spot, but even as an NFR Rookie Amber Moore has every reason to be confident. Below she’s shared insights from her amazing 2016 season and offered valuable advice for those of us who’d love to follow in her boots as an NFR barrel racing qualifier!

1. What horse(s) will you be riding at the 2016 WNFR?
CP Dark Moon “Paige,” a seven year old brown mare and Junos Royal Flush “Jen,” a nine year old buckskin mare.

2. How would you describe your horse’s running and turning style?
Paige is hard-running and turning, she loves small patterns.

3. What has been your biggest challenge or learning opportunity this season?
Trying to find rodeo grounds you’ve never been to.

4. What inspires you to stay positive through all the ups and downs of rodeo life?
Knowing there’s always another rodeo and another run to make.

5. What products do you depend on most to keep your horses healthy and happy?
Back on Track products.

6. Do you have any specific goals for this year’s National Finals Rodeo?
To go and make ten memorable runs.

7. What piece of tack or equipment is one you can’t live without?
My Double J saddles.

8. What qualities do you think are most critical to a horse’s success?
Building confidence and trust in their job.

9. Is there a preferred bloodline or style you look for in a horse?
I look for a horse with a big heart and a willing attitude.

10. If you could make a run on any of the other NFR qualifier’s horses, which would you choose and why? I would choose Tibbie. She is gritty – just my style!

11. What do you think is the key to making the transition from a part-time amateur barrel racer to a full-time professional?
Having family support and the right horse.

12. If you could give one tip to a barrel racer with a goal to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo, what would it be?
Focus on one run at a time!

Amberleigh Moore

13. What is your favorite thing to do outside of barrel racing and horses?
Traveling to places I’ve never been… with a nice sand beach!

14. What has been a funny or memorable experience from your years of rodeoing?
Almost leaving my dog at a friend’s house when we were loading horses. My friend ran out to the road holding the dog, we were leaving for three weeks to Texas.

15. Are there any sponsors you’d like to thank?
Yes! Tight Joints Plus, OE Nutraceuticals, Champion Feeds, Earl’s Garage, G&J Logging, Purina, Katie’s Coast to Coast, Silver Lining Herbs, Murray Hay Sales, BRN4D, Belle Star Boutique, Double J Saddlery, 5 Star Pads, Back on Track, House Top H Ranch, and MR4 Activ.

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The 2016 NFR action starts on Thursday, December 1st and will be televised LIVE nightly beginning through December 10th at 7:00 Pacific, 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time, 9:00 Central and 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on Direct TV – CBS Sports Channel 221, or Dish – CBS Sports Channel 158. Click here for the WNFR TV schedule at ProRodeo.com.

Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, and also enjoy these additional resources:

Viva Las Vegas! Meet the 2016 Top 15 NFR Barrel Racers

2016 NFR Barrel Racers

The top 15 WPRA barrel racing qualifiers have arrived in Las Vegas, and will soon be blasting down the alley at the Thomas & Mack. In anticipation of the rodeo action, I’m excited to share their reflection on at the 2016 season, and what we can expect to see in this years race to the gold buckle.

So before the gates open, let’s dive in and get to know these these amazing women and their horses (including pedigrees) who will entertain, educate and inspire us – at the 2016 NFR and beyond! Read more… »

What Every Aspiring NFR Barrel Racer Should Know – with 2016 PRCA Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Marty Tanner

What Every Aspiring NFR Barrel Racer Should Know - with 2016 PRCA Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Marty Tanner

After making the cross country move from northern Wyoming to central Texas in 2013, I had several quality options when it came to selecting a primary veterinarian in our area that would oversee our horse’s care.

I was familiar with Dr. Marty Tanner and knew he was the vet. of choice for several NFR barrel racers. As someone with BIG barrel racing goals, it didn’t take long to decide and get established with him and the team at Elgin Veterinary Hospital in Elgin, Texas.

Recently Dr. Tanner was named the 2016 Zoetis PRCA Veterinarian of the Year in recognition of his extraordinary dedication, commitment and service to the well-being of professional rodeo livestock.

Dot Com, Heather and Dr. Tanner
Dot Com, Heather and Dr. Tanner

An article by Matt Naber in the ProRodeo Sports News quoted PRCA World Champion Tie Down Roper Monty Lewis as saying, “He is one of the best performance horse veterinarians in North America, and we are very blessed that he gives the rodeo community so much attention. With his renowned facility and his progressive and innovative approach, he is very deserving of the ultimate recognition. The world standings are filled with competitors who owe a large portion of their success to him.”

I couldn’t agree more, which is why I am grateful to Dr. Tanner for lending his wisdom and experience in an interview I’m excited to share below that offers valuable horse health insights (and more) for equestrians in any discipline who want to deliver the very best care possible to their equine athletes. Read more… »

Good Vibrations – Why the EquiVibe Plate is so Beneficial for Barrel Horses

Good Vibrations - Why the EquiVibe Plate is so Beneficial for Barrel Horses

by Kathleen Rossi of Integrated Equine

Flipping through the pages of any equine catalog, you’ll notice a plethora of therapy products.

Liniments, wraps, boots, magnets, supplements, massagers, fairy dust, ice packs and hollow promises all suggesting THEIR product will help your performance horse.

How are you to chose: Brand endorsement? Color assortment? Newly improved? Horse-approved? It’s tiring to say the least. I know at one time or another I’ve found myself sarcastically asking, “which product should I waste my money on today?” I bet you can relate!

The EquiVibe plate however, stands alone. It’s a low profile platform run by electricity that vibrates at different speeds. When a horse stands on this platform he receives benefit from the vibration – stimulating bones, muscles and nerves, thus supporting performance, rehabilitation and helping to prevent injury.

My personal mission statement at IntegratedEquine.net is:
To teach relationship building between horse and human and to develop an intimate understanding of horse psychology and physiology through progressive horse keeping.

The reason I am passionate about sharing the benefits of EquiVibe whole body vibration specifically, is because it’s been a valuable and reliable form of therapeutic support, not only my own horses (and Heather’s), but the world’s most winningest horses, and can be for your equine partners as well! Read more… »

101 Quick Tips to Improve Your Riding on the Barrel Pattern

Quick-Fix Tricks to Improve Your Riding on the Barrel Pattern

In barrel racing, we’re not judged on how well we can “sit pretty.”

But it’s critical that we don’t adopt a clock as clock can attitude, either.

This is because HOW we get across the timer line matters. It matters most, to our horses.

After growing up dabbling in 4-H, I learned that a “good rider” was one who kept their toes in, heels down, seat glued to the saddle, and had straight shoulder/hip/heel alignment.

However, learning to hold a particular posture in the saddle so we LOOK like a good rider is no substitute for actually becoming one.

In fact, if we don’t intentionally learn to “go with the flow” and ride with fluidity (even at speed), no amount of equitation lessons will help us if we don’t also have THE FEEL.

The LOOK alone will never be enough in a sport that requires so much quickness, balance, timing and athleticism from horse and human alike.

Outside of appearances, a lot of us aren’t guiding our horses as effectively as we could – not necessarily because we haven’t yet followed through with that fitness program, or because we’re not athletic enough, but because we’re always, just ever so slightly out of position.

While some of the changes we’re after in our horses and ourselves will require time and commitment, today I wanted to lighten the load a bit and share a LONG list of “quick tips” that have the power to turn a less than stellar run into a winning one, in a literal instant. Read more… »

‘Halter Breaking’ a Seasoned Barrel Horse – How the Basics Can MAKE or Break You

‘Halter Breaking’ a Seasoned Barrel Horse - How the Basics Can MAKE or Break You

by Kathleen Rossi of Integrated Equine.

Chances are, you are reading this and already own a seasoned barrel horse. So what does it matter if he likes to be haltered or not?

Simply put it: it is a matter of relationship and response. The better your relationship with your horse the better (and quicker) his response will be when running the barrel pattern.

If your horse can yield his thoughts and body when doing the simplest things like haltering, he’s more likely to be supple when you ride as well.

Cheating your horse a course in basic horsemanship just because he is a natural talent is really cheating yourself of the fullness of what you can offer each other. A horse that doesn’t greet you, look at you, or acknowledge you when you approach him, should be the first signs of feedback that your first initial point of contact is broken.

If your spouse greeted you with flowers and a smile every day after work, you would always be happy to see them! The same is true with our horses. Haltering is the first chance we have to make an impression on them, and will help write the intention of the rest of our training session with them.

Haltering is the Gateway Drug… Read more… »

I’m a Starfisher and I’m NOT Proud, This is Why…

I'm a Starfisher and I'm NOT Proud, This is Why...

I’m a starfisher and I’m NOT proud.

You read right. Thanks to the attention this unflattering position has gotten lately, most of us are familiar with the spread eagle, daylighting moments captured on camera in the midst of an intense barrel racing run.

Of course there are the critics saying that it’s an indicator of poor riding, or less than stellar horsemanship, and that it’s damaging to the horse – all of which I can’t say I disagree with.

Then there are the “starfishing proud” folks, making it seem as though it’s a good thing, necessary, cool, or that it’s fun to do it on purpose – as if the more radical, the better!?

I on the other hand, don’t claim either camp, and here’s why…

The TRUTH about high-level barrel racing is that it’s not always going to be perfect and pretty. Some of the best, most competitive horses are not necessarily easy or smooth to ride.

There is SO MUCH to learn from photos, and while they may tell us a lot – they never quite tell the whole story. If we want to get really critical and look at every aspect of a winning run with a microscope, we WILL see at least minute moments of disharmony in what otherwise seems to be a correct and fluid, fast run when viewed with the naked eye as a whole. Read more… »

Six Steps to Build a Financial Foundation that Supports Your Barrel Racing Habit

Six Steps to Build a Financial Foundation that Supports Your Barrel Racing Habit

One of the first memories I have relating to finances was thinking I would never be able to go to college because “we didn’t have the money.”

But that was a lie. Well, part of it…

It’s true that my family didn’t seem to have enough funds to meet even our most basic needs at times when I was growing up. It was the way of thinking I inherited as a youngster (and later changed) that was drastically inaccurate.

I DID go to college and get a degree in Veterinary Technology, albeit on my own dime. Whether I continued to assume that my life was doomed – OR that I could or couldn’t influence my future, was up to me.

Today there are a lot of adults still not living their barrel racing dreams because they have no hope – believing that being a professional barrel racer is only for people with “a lot of money.” Today, let’s blow that false belief outta the water too, shall we?

I won’t argue that making a run for the NFR for example, does indeed require hefty financial backing (see below for actual examples). But if barrel racing professionally is your goal, it’s time to get real and get busy creating the strong financial foundation to support it. Read more… »