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If there’s one thing Ed Wright stresses more than anything else, it’s “Education, Education, EDUCATION!” This is the foundation of the multi-faceted program that he and his wife Martha have developed, which has remained true over the years, and still stands firm. It’s an approach that is based on educating a horse the “old fashioned way” – with patience. Ed has dedicated his life to sharing this timeless approach with barrel racers and it’s one that continues to deliver consistent positive results at a time when competition that is tougher than ever.
Ed states that “Knowledge tells you what to do, experience tells you when, where, how and why to use that knowledge.”
To develop our horse’s knowledge, we must be willing to develop our own. As riders, the best teachers we’ll ever come across are horses, but only if we are willing to learn from them. Educating a horse then, really has more to do with allowing the horse to educate us. The horse will always tell us the direction in which we need to go, if we listen.
With horses and riders, it’s imperative that this education be something that doesn’t end in our minds, but follows through to the way in which we use our bodies. With an understanding of timing and feel in place, we can go forward and build experience, which creates opportunities to fine tune the details of “when, where, how and why” that timing and feel is applied.
Ed encourages barrel racers to focus on developing three main areas of education in their horses:
- Speed Control
- Direction Control
- Body Shape Control
Ed explains that “Just because a horse was educated properly as a colt, doesn’t mean they’re still educated.” At the same time, just because a horse is ten years old and has packed around a saddle and rider for years, doesn’t mean that he ever received a proper education. Not only must barrel racers learn to recognize when their horse needs to be better educated, they must also learn how to maintain their education, and continue to develop it. If you want to become a top barrel racer, AND a horseman, there really is no destination – it’s a never ending process. Read more