New to barrel racing? It’s an exciting rodeo sport that’ll put the wind in your hair. This timed event requires you to race around three barrels as fast as you can. You need balance, stamina, and a willing horse! There’s a lot to learn in the beginning, but if you stick with it you’ll get better every time. Here’s some tips to help you along the way!

1. Get a quiet, well-broke horse. In the beginning, it’s not about speed as much as learning the pattern and techniques. Build your confidence up on a horse you can depend on. They shouldn’t have a million buttons, rather this horse should be simple and easy to figure out.

2. Find a good, knowledgeable instructor. You’ll progress much quicker under the guidance of an experienced barrel racer.

3. You will need proper barrel racing tack. The saddles usually have deep seats and short skirts. It’s also advisable to purchase protective boots for your horse’s legs.

4. Practice proper body alignment. That’ll keep you secure in the saddle!

5. Don’t drill the pattern! You can mix things up by doing figure eights and circles.

6. Slow and steady… the speed will come later! When just starting out, go the speed that you feel confident and comfortable in.

7. Look at the area around the barrel when approaching it. This area is known as a pocket. The key is to slow down around the barrel by sitting deep and pressing weight into your stirrups. You can gather speed as you finish your turn.

8. Lean slightly forward and keep your hands low as you gallop to the finish line. This will help you pick up speed.

Have fun out there and be safe! There’s a lot to learn as a beginner, but with patient you’ll pick it up in no time.

Make sure to check out ‘Barrel Racing Basics‘!