Entries by Heather Smith

How to Evaluate, Find and Enhance Saddle Fit for Faster Barrel Racing

When your run your hands down your horse’s back, does he tighten, flinch, shrink away or spasm? Is there atrophy behind the withers or depressions where your horse’s shoulders have rotated forward? Are you dealing with stubborn soreness or lameness issues that seem to need constant management? Is your horse’s topline less round and full…

Start Strong to Finish FAST – Catch the Correct Lead for a Stress-Free Alley Set Up Every Time

The degree of responsiveness we NEED at the gate is NOT conditional – it HAS to hold up in any and all circumstances, even (and especially) when energy and adrenaline is high. For some it’s not quite responsiveness that’s a problem, but the horse’s emotional stability. Ever catch yourself tip toeing around ever so subtly…

Improve Horse and Human Posture for more Power (and Traction) on the Pattern

The other day I was reading about some of the conditioning programs of top barrel racers, as well as reflecting back on my notes with suggestions from some veterans. They each talked about how many miles they go or minutes they spend at the walk, trot, then lope, etc. in each workout. While it’s good…

Hauling Do’s & Don’ts: Avoid the Pitfalls to Arrive (and Stay) at Your Best

If there are pessimists, optimists and realists, then I tend toward the latter. I believe in expecting the best, but preparing for the worst. After all, if “the worst” is gonna happen, it’ll probably be in the most inconvenient and untimely places, such as when we’re traveling and competing with our horses! Take a look…