Photo courtesy of Ken Amorosano.……

Sally Rodeo Live interviewed some of the top WPRA cowgirls to ask them what qualities they look for in barrel horse prospects. Ivy Conrado-Saebens, Ivy Hurst, Jackie Ganter, Lisa Lockhart, Nellie Williams-Miller, and Shali Lord all had one trait in common.

Check out what these cowgirls had to say below…

Sally Rodeo Live: “When shopping, what areas of conformation turn you off? What points of conformation do your prospects absolutely must have?”

Ivy Conrado-Saebens. Photo courtesy Bull Stock Media.

Ivy Conrado-Saebens: “Conformation plays a big role in longevity but not in winning. It’s the size of the heart when it comes to rodeo. Now if i’m buying for resale that’s a different story.”

Ivy Hurst. Photo courtesy of ThisIsReno.

Ivy Hurst: “I do love good conformation! But I agree with all the other girls. It’s the size of the heart! You just have to feel it! It’s not something you can see. I like a horse with a lot of forward motion and not a lot of “up and down” when the travel.”

Jackie Ganter. Photo by Kenneth Springer.

Jackie Ganter: “I like big, stout horses, I feel like I ride them better than little horses. I think you can nit pick conformation all day long but I’ve seen a lot of outstanding barrel horses of all shapes and sizes but I’ve never seen a great one that lacked heart and some attitude! If you have a horse that’s determined to be a winner their build probably isn’t going to stop them.”

Lisa Lockhart. Photo by Billie-Jean Duff.

Lisa Lockhart: “I’ve ridden various kinds of horses, all having different conformation, size, etc. Of course it’s ideal to have good conformation, but more than anything a horses heart and desire to please along with God gifted athletic ability are true game changers!”

Nellie Williams-Miller. Photo by Billie-Jean Duff.

Nellie Williams-Miller: “The first thing I notice when I walk up to a horse is their eye.  Conformation is important but I think a lot of things can be overlooked if the horse has a good willing attitude.”

Shali Lord. Photo by Greg Westfall, from WPRA.

Shali Lord: “I think you can look for great confirmation and papers but they have to have a big heart and a desire to be a barrel horse.”

When it comes down to it, heart makes a champion. For more rodeo news and stories with cowgirls, check out Sally Rodeo Live on Facebook and Instagram.

Meet the barrel horses owned by Jackie Ganter! Click here.