Friday, January 10, 2014


 Barrel Racing. A sport where if you blink your eyes at the wrong time, you'll miss horse and rider breezing together around barrels, hooves digging into the footing, horse and rider morphed as one. The runs can be a mere 16 seconds long. With model horses, you capture a split second of the run, freezing it.
When stripped down, you may only notice a horse, barrel, saddle and bridle. But there's other parts. Since this is a timed event, the fastest horse wins. If a barrel is knocked over, a five second penalty is added to the completed time, which can make or break a placing.
The pattern is pretty basic.
Horse and rider gallop from the start line towards the first barrel. They may go right or left.
Then the team gallops to the second barrel, 
turns, and moves to the last barrel.
Then it's a dash to the finish line!
To me, Barrel racing is an excellent beginner performance entry. Mostly because the props can be found around the house and different gaited models can be used. You can make the entry as elaborate as you want. The tack that the horses at the rodeo had ranged from plain to blinged out. A barrel can be made from a soup can that has been cleaned and painted, but should be two different colors. At the higher levels, the horses will be seen galloping or at least loping. The saddle will be a western one and is lighter so no more weight is added than what is needed. 
While Smarty Jones, Scamper, The Nakota Mustang, Cigar, and Flash may be the first obvious choices, they are not the only models that can be used for a Barrel Racing entry.
Walking and trotting models such as Strapless, the Cleveland Bay, Giselle, John Henry and the Indian Pony can be used. Walk/Trot barrels is the name of the event for slower models. Same exact pattern, just a different pace. Since they are moving at a slower pace, the model does not have to have the breastcollar or boots that the faster moving models will most likely have on. A standing horse could be used, standing and waiting for the run to begin.
Actually, barrel racing is pretty lax in terms of equipment for horses. There are not specific bits that are required, tie-downs and nosebands can be used, and the bridle can be any western kind. The reins can be split or closed, like gaming reins which are short. Now most, if not all of the horses I watched had some type of leg protection on their legs, whether it was on the front legs or the back legs. Since the horses are moving at such high speeds and taking such tight and sudden turns, the legs take a toll and it is better for the legs to be protected. If using a doll and following the NBRA(National Barrel Racing Association) , it should have a long sleeved western shirt, jean or western pants, western hat and boots. I believe that a rider can have a helmet if he or she chooses so.
That's everything for Barrel racing.  :)

Was it clear and did it make sense?
Any questions?