Barrel Racing Tips Articles & Videos
Every year, the excitement of the NFR inspires many barrel racers to blast down the alley at the Thomas and Mack themselves one day.
However, spectators often only see the more glamorous side of professional barrel racing, represented by the beautiful blinged-out women and horses that race through the pattern night after night.
What they don’t see or experience in the stands or in front of the TV are the many no-so-glamorous hours and miles that go into making a National Finals Rodeo qualification a reality. With a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into the world of professional barrel racing, many of those with NFR dreams would be deterred pretty quickly. But then, there are those few of us who are not deterred at all… Read more
No matter what form it shows up in, when a horse exhibits resistance, there is a separation occurring.
Any kind of resistance (subtle or extreme) creates a delay, and any delay will equal slower times on the clock.
Whether it be a wringing tail, shaking or tossing head, pushing against pressure, or just tension through the body, as long as the resistance is allowed to continue, there will be a disconnect, a disagreement between horse and rider.
When resistance occurs, our idea and the horse’s idea, are NOT the same idea!
If we look beyond the outward symptoms, we’ll find real reasons for our horse’s resistance. Until we commit to understanding the reasons, and providing a solution, this will prove to be a BIG road block in the way of progress on the pattern.
Rather than try to cover up the symptoms, let’s consider just a few reasons WHY a horse might show resistance, in the form of fighting at the first barrel.
They tend to show up in one of three categories – physical, mental or emotional…
1. Physical Problem – May not be obvious, but horse is physically uncomfortable
2. Lack of Education – Horse does not understand his responsibilities/what is expected
3. Lack of Leadership – Horse is not motivated to follow the rider’s suggestions
4. Lack of Communication – Horse is frustrated by rider’s lack of clear instructions
5. Too Much Repetition at Speed – Horse loses desire and/or becomes anxious
Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #11 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.
Is one of YOUR goals to barrel race successfully on a professional level, either this year or beyond?
If so, consider the following information we’ve brought to you on being a member of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association as the first of many doors opening to make those dreams a reality!
As stated on the WPRA web site,
“The competition is tough and the standards are high but the WPRA is the finest women’s sports organization in the world.”
Not only the finest, the WPRA is also the oldest women’s sports organization, having been formed in 1948 when thirty-eight cowgirls got together in San Angelo in the name of promotion and advancement of women in rodeo.
Although the WPRA co-sanctions barrel racing events outside of pro rodeos, has a roping division, and holds their own world finals rodeo in October, most of the members of the WPRA are barrel racers interested in competing in barrel racing held at PRCA rodeos.
Anyone interested in competing in barrel racing at PRCA rodeos must start their WPRA membership as a permit holder. The cost of a permit is $300 annually and requires the completion of a membership application. Once $1000 has been won in WPRA competition, members are eligible to purchase their WPRA card for $375.
To make sure these numbers are accurate, you’ll want to click here for current membership information.
Some benefits to becoming a card holder include the opportunity to qualify for Circuit Finals or the National Finals Rodeo and the ability to vote and hold office in the WPRA. Card holders are also given priority over permit holders when drawn for positions at pro rodeos, and some rodeos do not accept permit holders.
It seems like every barrel racer has fantasized about blasting down the alley at the Thomas & Mack at one time or another. Whether you’re content to compete at local jackpots or have NFR dreams, we all have the same goal – to WIN. The bottom line is that barrel racing is a timed event – a race, one that we are ALL trying to win.
This time of year, (in many places) the world falls quiet under a beautiful blanket of snow. The timing is perfect to become quiet within as well, to reflect on the challenges faced and the lessons learned in the past year. It’s also a time of year that presents opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the relationships in our life -friends, family, our horses.
It’s easy to develop a one track mind when it comes to accomplishing our competitive goals. As another year draws to a close, and when you look back on your day, or your life, remember that it’s the relationships we form that make a difference, that matter in the end.
This doesn’t mean that we aren’t aggressive as competitors. However, as you press forward toward barrel racing success, do realize the value in pausing long enough to be mentored and become a mentor. Pause long enough to reflect on what is working, what is not working, and resolve learn, grow and implement changes.
Whether you develop a mentor relationship, or really reflect on where you are and what obstacles are in your way, you’ll find that that pausing (something barrel racers are not necessarily known for) long enough to do these things can actually accelerate our success in the barrel racing arena.
I think you’ll pick up right away on the similarities in the answers below from this year’s top 15 NFR barrel racers… the power of parents as mentors, the importance of horse care and soundness, hard work, and appreciating and living each day to the fullest.
In 2011 I had the honor of interviewing multiple-time barrel racing World Champion, Sherry Cervi LIVE at the Silver Lining Herbs boot at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
In the video below, Sherry shared:
Three Ingredients in her Recipe for Barrel Racing Success.
In this video, we’ll gain some insight into…
#1. How Sherry Cervi finds a horse with potential
#2. How she develops a champion barrel horse, AND
#3. How she supports and maintains them
More than 170,000 screaming fans will pass through the Thomas & Mack throughout the ten days of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.
Barrel racing’s leading ladies will compete for over six million dollars in prize money. That’s over $55,000 up for grabs each night!
So in the midst of all the pressure and excitement…
How do the top 15 NFR barrel racers keep their horses (and themselves) calm in those vital moments before blasting down the alley?
Despite the less than ideal lighting and background noise in the video (did I mention the NFR is EXCITING!?), BarrelRacingTips.com has brought you the answers to that very question LIVE from the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Read more
One of the best strategies for success in any area is to find a mentor, someone you admire who has accomplished what you want to accomplish, and study their habits. Learn in detail what it takes to reach their level and do the same.
We recently caught up with the top 15 2011 NFR Qualifiers. Each were asked a series of questions, and in return we received a special insiders peek into the world of barrel racing’s highest achievers. The similarities were surprising, obviously more than just entertaining trivia, their answers provide a great learning opportunity for those with NFR dreams.
As you enjoy coverage of the NFR brought to you by BarrelRacingTips.com take time to reflect on the words of professional rodeo’s leading ladies, let their answers really sink in, and then ask yourself…
- What are you doing that is similar?
- What are you doing that is different?
To become a champion, it’s important to first understand the habits of champions and develop them yourself. Common threads noted in the interviews include making horse health priority, a willingness to make numerous sacrifices, intense dedication and the presence of strong support team. Unlike the case of the chicken and the egg, an NFR qualification only comes next in line to those that develop the habits of champions FIRST.
Is this issue driving YOU up the wall!?
The anxiety you feel when wondering whether your horse will duck out or run up the wall can be extremely damaging to your confidence as a rider.
After all, if you’re worried about this in a run, you can’t ride to your fullest potential and chances are even greater that your horse WILL duck or go up the wall the more you allow it to consume your mind.
But it should consume your mind, right!? When something like this happens, the discouragement you feel after first investing time and effort to prepare for competition, only to have it all go down the tubes (in such a BIG way) can be overwelming.
As time goes by and the cycle continues, the frustration only grows between horse and rider, until now…