Tag Archive for: bits for barrel racing

Form, BIT and Function – How to Choose and Use the Right Headgear for Your Barrel Horse

Form, BIT and Function – How to Choose and Use the Right Headgear for Your Barrel Horse

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #98 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn or Spotify.


As I was getting warmed up to post this week’s video, I was glad to come across some timeless barrel racing wisdom from Ed Wright.

Recently I witnessed and was especially impressed by one of his students as she won the All American Finals in Waco, TX, and again it confirmed that while competition continues to get tougher as breeding programs, tools and techniques are always evolving – certain principles never change.

One such principle is that bits are secondary to education.

And yet, while education is a critical priority – just because we’ve instilled knowledge in our horse’s mind doesn’t necessarily mean there still aren’t blocks in the way physically and emotionally.

Even if we can influence and yield our horse’s body parts relatively quick and effectively doesn’t mean they feel good about it, that they want to do it, and that they aren’t dealing with physical restrictions that make it difficult for them.

This is why I also love learning about and sharing the importance of horse health, anatomy, therapeutic bodywork and biomechanics, as well as what we as trainers, riders and jockeys can do to actually build desire and try in our horses. Read more

Selecting a Bit for the Hard to Please Barrel Horse

Selecting a Bit for the Hard to Please Barrel Horse

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #96 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn or Spotify.


In many cases, “hard to please horses” like the one Stefanie describes in the Q&A video below, who toss their head and gap their mouth, don’t have a bit problem.

As I state in my book, Secrets to Barrel Racing Success, the way we go about performing maneuvers, applying techniques and solving problems, matters. In many cases, it’s not the BIT, but HOW our horse responds to it, that we must be concerned with. If our horse is not responding in a way we would like, we need to ask WHY, and develop a solution from there.

The Solution STARTS here

This time of year, as intense rodeo action is playing out at stock shows nationwide, I’m reminded even more, that the horses who excel those little pens, with short runs and funny angles to the first barrel, are the horses that are especially soft and supple to bit pressure (and through their entire bodies). They not only especially excel in those more difficult set ups, they excel more in general.

Putting the odds in your favor requires a commitment to creating feather-light response to bit pressure. When you do, your horse is more likely to wrap around those barrels wickedly fast, even in less than ideal circumstances – leaving the stiff, resistant horses in the dust! Read more