Barrel racing is fast and furious with speed, agility, twists and sharp turns as you move through the cloverleaf. Due to the nature of barrel racing, the horse faces many challenges. Five key areas in which a horse can be strengthened and prepared for barrel racing to help give a successful race are:
Stamina. The horse must be fit to sprint away from the start line, and sprint to complete the arc from barrel to barrel
Balance. Essential for when they edge around the barrel to achieve the perfect arc beat the clock
Flexible. The horse must be able to bend in both directions fluidly and quickly
Strenght. The horse must have the muscle to take the weight shift through the body when going from speed to almost an instant stop
Mental. The horse must be physically and mentally prepared.
Western pleasure - is there cause for concern or is it all a fuss about nothing?
It starts with a guy recording a Western Pleasure class at Congress on his phone; he uploads it to Facebook. Before long, the footage is being shared worldwide. Why? Because the western pleasure class, it seems, is scrutinised more than any other western riding discipline.
Having followed the social media flurry of comments in 2017, we decided to ask Western Horse UK readers what they thought.
The results are certainly interesting but first let's be clear this isn't the most scientific study, 70 respondents are not representative of the feelings of the whole western community in the UK. There is likely to be some bias, as those most passionate about a subject are more likely to take the time to respond to a survey.
Debbie Cocklin explains the craftsmanship of leatherwork.
Items made from leather have been found to date back to prehistoric times, when leather hides leftover from animals that had been hunted for food, were used as clothing and to form shelter against harsh conditions.
Over time people learnt that drying out leather prevented it from rotting and the early days of tanning were started, a process that changes the structure of the cells.
Various methods were tried and tested over the years to preserve leather including smoking it and even using urine collected from the locals!
Sean Coleman looks at the differences between the concepts of yielding to pressure and seeking relief and how adopting the Active, Neutral, Quit approach with your horse can motivate your partnership.
There are many techniques, strategies and sequences when it comes to training horses, but for me, it is the concepts of horse training that take your horsemanship to the next level. Techniques help you understand what to do and how to do it, and concepts help you understand when and why you're doing it. A mentor of mine would always say, "The one who knows why will always go further than the one who knows how." That is what concepts help you do.
Sean Coleman discusses our horse's mindset during the training process and makes us think about which one we encourage each time we interact with them.
I encourage people to learn how to read their horses' behaviour and learn how to affect it on the ground and in the saddle. If you can do this, you can learn how to teach your horse, and if you are a good teacher for your horse, you can essentially do anything. All you have to learn is the subject/discipline.