Points every Racer should have in their mind regardless of the horse they’re running.
As Barrel racers, we obsess over perfect circles. I understand you know exactly where your horse’s feet should be, but what about the points you should be focusing on as a rider?
These points are often overlooked as we place all our focus on our horses and forget we have our own race to run as well. Crazy right, of course you know you’re running a race, but how often do you get so focused on having a perfect turn you forget to get ready for the next one? Exactly, please keep reading…you’re going to like this!
”I’m going to challenge you to take a look at things from another perspective in hopes of getting you out of “trainer mode” and into “competition mode”
To me, the goal isn’t a perfect circle, the goal is to get through a pattern as fast as I can. My job as a jockey is to set my horse up for success and keep them moving, it’s my horse’s job to turn the barrel.
Once I que, I hunker down in my saddle and I’m there if they need me, but I’m already planning my next move and making sure this train is moving forward.
Where I see a lot of riders lose time is they get stuck focusing WAY too much on a turn and they forget that they have a whole pattern to run. I have a mental points system that I use to teach my students what their roles as a jockey should be in competition. Once you know what you need to be doing with your hands, where you need to look, and when, you can work on your own time off the horse to create muscle memory. The goal is to make your “Turn response” automatic so you can focus on setting your horse up correctly and you’re still able to do your job as a rider.
My goal is to make this as simple as possible for both horse and rider. The horse has a job and you have a job. I think we’re doing so much of the horse’s job we forget to run our own race.
Bottom line, you entered with a goal to win or have a successful run correct? The odds of you having a perfect run every time are pretty slim. Things happen, horses misstep, or pop out wide, and having these simple steps in your mind keeps you sharp and responsive. No time to dwell about kinks in the run, you have to roll with what you have.
Having a strong muscle memory for where you need to be to set your horse up for success will allow you to minimize your unexpected errors in a run and iron out the ones that do end up happening. It’s not your job to turn the barrel but you need to be focused on running a pattern so when the time comes when you do have to help your horse, you’re there for them.
Ok, now I’ll cut to the chase. I’m going to break this down for each barrel and have provided videos AND photos for you to study.
You can set up a pattern in your living room, arena or office and work on making these points muscle memory and then go see how much quicker your horse turns the barrels.
Keep in mind these are markers to trigger where/when your should place your hand or body, not where I’m telling you to run your horse. (Although where I run my horse is not far off of those points.) but I understand that every horse runs differently and everybody has their own pocket or style.
THE MONEY BARREL
I am excited to hear about your success so feel free to send me before and after testimonies of your run when you apply these techniques.
If you want to work on sharp mental focus, check out my Performance Tracker now available and designed for high-performance riders.
I wanted to give credit where credit is due. I worked with many professional trainers growing up who helped teach me these important points as a rider. These points have been drilled in me from Ed Wright to Kendra Dickson. If you want to know the secret sauce for snappy turns, head over to her site HERE for Kendra’s Digital Clinics.
As I gather bits and pieces from many trainers and share with you what works for me I encourage you to do the same. Take what works and leave the rest, most importantly, never stop learning. The best way to tell if something works for you or not? Well, the proof’s in the pudding.