Tag Archive for: Develop your riding ability

Will You Be Sore Tomorrow, or Sorry?

Will You Be Sore Tomorrow, or Sorry?

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #13 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.

“Sore, or Sorry.” Ugh, the words of a fitness buff. I used to cringe a little at the thought.

Don’t get me wrong – by no means have I ever had a habit of spending much time sitting around on my keister, but for many years, I just wasn’t so inclined to participate (on a consistent basis) in the kind of physical activity that didn’t leave me in the end with cleaned pens, hay bales moved, or horse’s ridden.

If I’m exhausted from a killer workout, I might as well also be enjoying the sight of a barn full of neatly stacked hay.

Taking our barrel racing to the highest level though, calls for some new awareness, and a shift in perspective.

It’s great that we, as horse people, tend to get our fair share of physical activity in. But there’s something special, something different, we gain from specifically targeting why and how we exercise.

In our sport, the majority of the focus is placed on the horse. The truth is however, that we, as barrel racers are also athletes. So many of us miss the boat when it comes to realizing just what a huge difference strength and fitness can make.

Ask rodeo great Ty Murray, or NFR barrel racers Shada Brazile, Charmayne James, or Sydni Blandchard what role being physically fit has played in their success, and they’ll say – it’s everything.


Because gaining strength in your body, makes you stronger (and quicker) all-around. Read more

Bareback Balance for Barrel Racers

Bareback Balance for Barrel Racers
Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #293 and #297 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.

We’ve all heard the age old advice – to become a better rider, ride bareback!

However, you may write off that advice thinking that riding bareback is for kids or that you’re a perfectly capable rider – or are you?

Part of reaching your potential as a barrel racer means being committed to never ending self-improvement. To truly grow in our horsemanship we must be willing to look (deep) within – FIRST.

So what constitutes a good rider in barrel racing anyway? We might figure that if we can get through the pattern without falling off that we’re good enough, or that if we can lope circles, trot along the rail or even sprint full speed without major day-lighting in the saddle that we are accomplished riders.

When someone at the barrel race says “She can really ride!” they may mean that person seems to have an ample dose of balance, timing, fluidity & feel that is necessary to be ONE with a horse during a run. Any cues are made smoothly, which creates response rather than reaction from the horse. They are fluid in their body, appearing to move ‘with’ vs. ‘on’ their horse and rarely over exaggerate movements resulting in costly time on the clock.

A not so advanced rider might cue their horse too soon or too late (out of time), they might tense up and brace in the stirrups (lack of fluidity), lean one way or another (out of balance) or roughly jerk or pull their horse through a turn (lack of feel), trying to make up for the mistakes created by the previously mentioned missing ingredients – timing, fluidity and balance!

Read more