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Five Cold, Hard (not-so-obvious) TRUTHS Why You’re Not Winning

Five Cold, Hard (not-so-obvious) TRUTHS Why You're Not Winning

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #161 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.


Andrea Otley knows exactly what type of challenges we all face on the road to better barrel racing.

In today’s post she’ll be sharing some lesser-known insights into understanding why the clock might not be stopping as you’d hope, as well as some action steps proven to change that, AND how to make this your year to reach new heights (and speeds) on the barrel pattern.

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You’ve got the horse.

You’ve got the tack – the saddle, the pad, the bit, the training equipment.

The teeth are floated. The chiropractic work is done. The feeding program is top notch – only the best for your horse.

He’s well trained. He knows and loves his job.

He’s in the best shape of his life.

You’ve taken the lessons, read the articles, watched the DVDs and corrected any problems.

You’ve learned so much and practiced hard. You’re devoted, dedicated and determined. You want this so bad!

You fall asleep each night thinking of your approach to the first barrel, how awesome it feels as your horse runs home. You get butterflies just thinking about it.

You enter each barrel race with the same positive expectation you enter the alley with, but then your heart drops again as you hear your time.

WHY aren’t you WINNING?? Read more

The Backbone of Barrel Racing Success – A Checklist for Training an Educated Body and Willing Mind

The Backbone of Barrel Racing Success - A Checklist for Training an Educated Body and Willing Mind

Listen to this resource in audio form! It’s #158 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher or Google Play.


I believe preschool teachers and colt starters should be among the highest trained and paid professionals in the world.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the future, not just the future of the horses and children they teach, but the future of the entire planet depends on quality early education.

The human brain is thought to be most malleable between ages two and five. It’s not that you can’t teach an old dog (or horse or human) new tricks, but life is going to be a lot easier, safer and more successful and productive for everyone when youngsters of any species have positive learning experiences from the get go.

In the video below, I’ve gone through the critical foundational elements I believe are necessary to set a barrel horse up for outrageous and lasting success in life as a high end performance horse, and beyond.

Because really, what they need in addition to discipline specific training is mental and emotional development, maturity and general life skills.

Whether you’re working with youngsters or have an old campaigner, there are endless benefits to be gained through not only further refining your ability to influence a horse’s body effectively, but most importantly, their minds.

How well your horse can adapt to the stress of life on the road – whether he can stay calm and relaxed as you get that high degree of physical responsiveness in intense environments no less, ultimately determines the outcome of our performance – it’s ALL connected. Read more

Four Steps to Strengthen Your Barrel Racing Foundation with Flying Lead Changes

Four Steps to Strengthen Your Barrel Racing Foundation with Flying Lead Changes!

In today’s video, I’ve challenged AND shown you how to think, and RIDE outside the barrel racing box in order to achieve more success IN the barrel racing box – and on the pattern, specifically.

“If you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something, you’ve never done.” – J.D. Houston

If there’s one thing I’ve realized by embracing new challenges, it’s that there are SO MANY eye-opening, humbling and growth inducing lessons to learn by doing so.

It’s not uncommon to get complacent with where we’re at and the skills we and our horses have. We tend to stay within our individual comfort zones and inadvertently think that “knowing about” something is equivalent to doing it.

BUT it’s not. Read more

Operation Thawing Frosty: Melting Long-Standing Resistance for a New Lease on Life

Operation Thawing Frosty: How to Melt Long-Standing Resistance for a New Lease on Life

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #143 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher or Google Play.


A couple months ago I shared Frosty’s story in In It for the Long Haul – Advice from Your Future Self on Keeping Barrel Horses Sound, Healthy & Happy.

It was then that I mentioned that the “living legend” in our pasture represented something really special. When he was retired early due to ring bone, Craig couldn’t bare to part with him. His family raised Frosty, and sound or not, he was with us to stay.

His presence was an everyday reminder to take care of and appreciate what you have – because good horses don’t last forever.

Well now, only TWO months later Frosty is a shining example of a completely different life lesson (and many others).

In that same post, I mentioned that Craig had been blessed with not only one, but two truly “one in a million” horses. The kind of talented athletes that some professional competitors may never even know in a lifetime.

I mentioned that having Dot Com was like a second chance to get things right, to do better.

But now, that’s all changed! Read more

Free, Easy and FAST – How to Support Joint Health and Function with Nutrition

Free, Easy and FAST – How to Support Joint Health and Function with Nutrition

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #142 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher or Google Play.


It is said that “diet is the foundation of health,” and I couldn’t agree more. When we, OR our horses have lost some element of health, it’s the first place we must look.

Unfortunately however, sometimes it’s the last. And often, the health issue exists because we didn’t pay close enough attention to it to begin with.

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is right, medicine is of no need.” – Ancient Proverb

Take the case of my previous horse, Mark ta Fly, aka “Peanut” whose athletic career was cut short by what vets. believed was Osteochondritis Dissecans presenting as cartilage damage in his stifles at the tender age of four. Read more

Feed for SPEED – How to Fuel Fast-Twitch Muscles for Faster Times!

Feed for SPEED - How to Fuel Fast-Twitch Muscles for Faster Times!

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #2 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.


If you enjoyed last weeks post about feeding based on the Glycemic Index, but immediately thought “Oh that’s all fine and dandy, but can a low GI feeding program REALLY fuel a timed-speed event athlete?” then you’re in good company.

I once had the same concerns.

Like you, I don’t just want to run barrels, I want to WIN! Today more than ever, it takes a very special animal to do that consistently – and diet is a HUGE part of that.

There are so many bases to cover and it can be overwhelming to be our horse’s equine nutritionist on top of everything else. It can be especially confusing once you actually start doing your homework and crunching the numbers.

There’s also a lot of misguided, contradictory, and outdated advice and information out there when it comes to fueling the equine athlete. Read more

How to Use the Glycemic Index to Increase Health and Performance

How to Use the Glycemic Index to Increase Health and Performance

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #2 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Play.


There are many ways in which low glycemic feeds can improve our horse’s health and I’m happy to have guest Mark DePaolo, DVM share how to do that below!

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Good nutrition is integral to allowing a performance horse to achieve its highest potential. Thinking about food as energy and how various feeds affect the body is extremely important. Diet actually plays a critical role in many equine health issues such as ulcers, tying up, allergies, laminitis and a compromised immune system.

Complete feeds (commonly referred to as ‘grain’) are often thought to provide everything required by performance horses. Most of these offer the type of quick burning energy you get from a candy sugar high, rather than a steady supply of energy obtained from feeding rice bran, beet pulp, and forages like alfalfa.

The digestive system of the horse is designed to continually ingest fiber and use it as a slow burning form of energy. Unfortunately, many of today’s show horses are being fed a consistent diet of starchy carbohydrates and sugar because it is easy for the owner, rather than nutritious for the horse. Read more

Strip Away Constraints to Deepen Communication and Heighten Barrel Racing Success

Strip Away Constraints to Deepen Communication and Heighten Barrel Racing Success

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #154 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher or Google Play.


The taller a building, the more sturdy the foundation must be.

The more tension on a fence, the deeper the post holes must be.

Ever wonder why the vertical part of a cross is longer than the horizontal part?

Because it must go deep to stand strong.

If you’re serious about achieving big time barrel racing success like I am – you’ve gotta be willing to go deeper than most people go.

This year, I challenge you to go further than you’ve ever gone before. Read more