You want the fastest and cleanest ride you can get! As a barrel racer, you need to be on your A game if you plan to beat the competition. This checklist will ensure you develop good riding habits so you can get more out of your horse. There’s nothing worse than having a bad run where your horse hit the barrel, blows off the turn, or pushes too fast too soon. It’s time to avoid bad rides and get winning times!
Good Habit Checklist:
Find your center of balance
Distribute your weight evenly in the stirrups
Learn to sit deeply in the saddle
Sit hard when you stop
Shoulders up and back
Look up and where you are going
Avoid yanking your horse’s head and mouth
Learn to post the trot
No pulling on the reins and kicking at the same time
Follow your horse’s movement
Be ready to get up and go
Avoid gripping with your legs, but maintain close contact
Prepare yourself mentally
Your position as a barrel racer is extremely important. You want to help your horse, not get in his way. Ask someone to video tape your rides or take pictures. This will give you a chance to see exactly what you’re doing in the saddle. You want your horse reacting to your entire body, not just your legs and hands. Learn to position yourself upright and utilize your seat.