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Success Leaves Clues – Lessons from a Day with Mary Walker and Latte

Success Leaves Clues – Lessons from a Day with Mary Walker and Latte

Mary Walker is a world-class lady who has “been there and done that.”

And not just because she’s 55 years old or a World Champion.

Of course I have a great deal of respect for her as barrel racer, but even more because of the trials she’s overcome.

If you watch the top 15 walk across the stage to receive their back numbers, and look close – you’ll see what I saw in Mary.

A sense of contentedness in her own skin – sheer presence, joy, humble confidence and sincerity. Read more… »

Patterns for Precision – Follow the Path to Greater Accuracy and SPEED!

Patterns for Precision – Follow the Path to Greater Accuracy and SPEED!

Whether you call them patterns, exercises, or drills, there’s no denying they’re an important part of any barrel racers program.

And it’s no wonder – high degrees of speed and precision are required to beat the clock, and our horses must not only understand their responsibilities for staying on track around the barrels, but also use their bodies in specific ways that put the odds most in our favor for efficiency and speed.

In The First 51 Barrel Racing Exercises to Develop a Champion, I went into great depth explaining the power of patterns and WHY they are so important based on how our horse’s minds are wired.

I also included the specific ways we can use patterns to achieve even more positive results. The truth is, we can perform drills until we (and our horses) are blue in the face, but if we don’t use psychology as we apply them, we won’t get nearly as far.

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Cream of the Crop – Meet and Learn From the 2014 Top 15 NFR Barrel Racers

Cream of the Crop - Meet and Learn from the 2014 Top 15 NFR Barrel Racers

They’re not just good, or even great.

The field of 15 barrel racers that will grace the tunnel of the Thomas & Mack with their beauty and horsepower as they run toward $796,875 in prize money this year, are quite simply in a class by themselves.

Also known in french as crème de la crème, or cream of the cream, metaphorically the meaning of this phrase is “the best of the best” – much like the richest part of milk that rises to the very top.

As tough and competitive as barrel racing is, there are plenty of barrel racers that try as they might, don’t rise to this level.

If YOUR dream is to be one of professional rodeo’s elite top 15 at the NFR, take note of the deeper meaning behind each reply below, then research and reflect on how to make connections to your own barrel racing program that will ultimately lift YOU up as well! Read more… »

In It for the Long Haul – Advice from Your Future Self on Keeping Barrel Horses Sound, Healthy & Happy

In It for the Long Haul – Advice from Your Future Self on Keeping Barrel Horses Sound, Healthy & Happy

Lately we’ve been exploring the ways it’s quite possible to restore health and soundness even in performance horses with existing pathologies.

If I could give you one piece of advice tough, it would be this – be as pro-active as you can about preventing them to begin with.

Today I’m happy to share a number of tips for doing just that.

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How to Improve Your Barrel Horse’s Topline, Stride AND Times!

How to Improve Your Barrel Horse's Topline AND Times!

I’m not the only one with a passion for horsemanship, horse health and barrel racing! Today’s article is a very special guest post from Kathleen Rossi of Integrated Equine.

The truth is, we won’t get very far running barrels if our ability to develop our horse’s mental AND physical foundations is not up to SPEED.

The valuable tips Kathleen has shared below will certainly help you get there faster!

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What do you think is one of the best components that would assist in giving your barrel horse the edge on your competition?

A lighter saddle? More training? How about a longer stride?

For me, I didn’t originally have an idea of what components were important in a barrel racing run aside from keeping the cans UP, and staying ON! But after a lot of heartbreak and even more research I have discovered a tool that has helped me shave SECONDS off my time and bump me up to the next “D.”

This secret ingredient is relevant to improving your horse’s topline and freeing up their stride.

We all know that it takes many pieces to get a race horse to really fire; perhaps one of the most important is getting them to use their long legs to their advantage.

So how do we get our horse to hit their stride and start covering some ground?

THREE easy steps. Read more… »

How to Restore and Maintain Soundness with Quality Movement and Healthy Biomechanics

How to Restore and Maintain Soundness with Quality Movement and Healthy Biomechanics

If you’ve ever experienced the heartbreak of nursing a barrel horse through a potentially career-ending injury, you’re probably extra motivated to do everything possible to prevent it from happening again!

While there are legitimately things we cannot control in life, there are many more things we CAN control that we don’t even realize.

Did you know for example, that many people mistake posture for conformation? Or did you know that your horse’s “style” on the pattern can actually be changed?

While genetics certainly DO play a big part in how our horses look and move, the WAY in which we ask our horses to arrange their bodies (and the reward they receive for doing so) can be literally life-changing.

Developing healthy movement patterns not only has the power to change a horse’s seemingly innate “style,” it can also completely change a horse’s physique.

While it’s easy to consider the way a horse looks or moves as “just the way he is,” the truth is that we have a TON of influence over how our horses use their mind and body – anyone that tells you otherwise, probably doesn’t yet know HOW!

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When Bad Things Happen to Good Horses – Beating the Odds After Injury & Illness

When Bad Things Happen to Good Barrel Horses – Beating the Odds After Injury & Illness

Below I’ve shared inspiring personal stories submitted from members of the BarrelRacingTips.com community whose horses have experienced major physical setbacks, and eventually BIG TIME comebacks!

Although space didn’t allow for me to publish every one of the stories submitted, I’m deeply grateful for all the wonderful submissions and invite YOU to share your story in the comments below!

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I bought a mare three years ago broodmare sound. When I met her something kept tugging at me. I needed to figure out a way to get her back into the arena. She foaled the next spring and I started digging deeper into her issues. She had several scars on her legs and a previous major injury on a hind leg. She had trouble keeping weight and despite all our efforts, looked terrible all the time. I went to vets, naturopaths and acupuncturists. My naturopath/acupuncturist came to the conclusion that the mare has a compromised immune system. Anything chemical makes her SICK. Read more… »

Six Steps to Seek and Secure Sponsorship for Barrel Racing

Six Steps to Seek and Secure Sponsorship for Barrel Racing

Whether you’re ready to seek sponsorship to help support your barrel racing habit ASAP, OR if you just want to learn more about the process for future reference, there’s an important First Step that applies either way.

That is to take a look at your mental programming surrounding the IDEA of pursuing sponsorship.

You’re likely to fall somewhere in the middle of two camps.

Either you…

A. Think sponsorship is only for pros, and would never dream of seeking sponsors until you’re winning pro rodeos. You’re a realist, you’re independent, you work hard, you’re not looking for handouts. You don’t mind earning your way to the top, even if it means doing it alone. You’re confident and want to advance your barrel racing career, but deep down you might be a little hesitant to take the leap.

OR

B. Don’t have a lot of experience with barrel racing, but you have a lot of enthusiasm! And although you don’t have a history of high placings, wins or countless hours in the saddle, and can’t offer anything yet in return for sponsorship, you feel as though you deserve sponsorship because of what you know you can win in the future with the right kind of support.

Which one of these examples do you fall toward?

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