OTTB barrel cowgirl magazine

More and more barrel racers are turning to OTTBs, which are off-track Thoroughbreds. When given a second chance, these horses continue to impress and amaze! They have speed and stamina, a willing attitude, and beauty. Unfortunately, riders may make a few mistakes when starting and riding them. These mistakes can fixed though!

Top OTTB Mistakes When Barrel Racing

  1. Starting the horse too early on the barrel pattern. Riders need to make sure the horse has a solid foundation before jumping onto more advance work.
  2. Fixing training issues with a stronger or bigger bit.
  3. Pulling the horse through the turn. You just need to slightly bend them so their body has an arc.
  4. Adding speed too soon! You OTTB should walk, trot, and canter a perfect pattern before you even consider speed. Remember, these horses know how to run.
  5. Thinking you have something to prove. You’re not at a disadvantage because you’re riding a Thoroughbred. These horses have already proven they can compete next to Quarter Horses. Prepare your horse and do your best!

Katelin Bradley, from the Western Thoroughbred, explains in greater detail these mistakes and how to improve them.

Not only do OTTBs compete in barrel racing, but they’re successful in many other western disciplines too.