BARREL RACING FOR THE FUN OF IT
Here is a sport for everyone. This activity offers to its enthusiasts relaxation of outdoors coupled with excitement of speed and unparallel connection with an animal many times larger, stronger, and faster than individual mounted on top. The only judge involved is clock. You wont find any style preferences, attitude, or subjective opinions here. Either you have fastest time or you don't.
Barrel racing has been around for years. It has been a game event in numerous competitions for decades where men, women, and children have enjoyed displaying their expertise at top speed for all to see. Most often first exposure to it comes from watching Rodeos. The cowboys introduced barrel racing into their list of events so their wives and girlfriends would have something to compete in at Rodeos. However, throughout rest of world it is open to and participated in by all.
The race is relatively simple at first glance. It consists of three barrels placed at specified distances in an arena in a triangular pattern, referred to as a cloverleaf pattern. Different associations have their own recommended distances. A general guideline would be ninety feet from first to second barrel and ninety feet to third. These distances vary anywhere from sixty to one hundred and five feet. However, once set, it remains same for all competitors in that race. The competitor enters arena at one end and proceeds at top speed around first barrel and then proceeds across arena to second, which must be turned in opposite direction from first. Next they proceed down arena to third barrel, which must be turned in same direction as second barrel. Then it's down centerline at breakneck speed across finish line. That's it, fastest time wins.
I have been teaching riding and barrel racing for years and have noticed a dramatic increase in number of individuals wanting to learn to barrel race. They don't say " I want to learn to ride", instead what I am hearing is "I want to barrel race". Of course like saying goes, that is really putting cart before horse. I normally don't have any problem resolving situation. Usually horse explains it rather quickly, and much better than I could. After that they understand just why they need to learn to ride and control horse before asking for speed. Then there are those who have been riding for some time and desire something different or more challenging. For these riders things move along much more quickly. They already have basics and simply need technical aspects. However, even for some of those with experience it takes some getting used to for speed. Once that is accomplished, there off and running.