Horse Barrel Racing: How to Care For Your Horse After Running Barrels
Keeping your horses in the best shape possible is very important — they are athletes and need to be treated accordingly! A healthy horse is a key component to success in the horse barrel racing industry. Keep reading for tips on keeping your horse feeling great and performing like a champ.
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Horse Barrel Racing Exercise Tips
Effective training is essential for horse barrel racing success. Barrel racing horses should be worked out five or six days a week using an exercise program that consists of a lot of cardio and endurance conditioning. Besides the regular riding around the arena or trails, your training should build speed and endurance. Break it up into three days of long trotting for 20 minutes and then lope them for five minutes each way the other two days.
Be sure to change up their routine with trail riding or other types of riding other than barrels to keep your horse from getting burned out.
For those days when you'll be riding in a barrel race or rodeo, slow work them on the barrels and keep the cardio light. You don't want to overdo it, so they can really shine during the competition. The whole purpose of the slow work is to keep them sharp and paying attention to my cues while they walk or trot the pattern.
Feed, Supplements and Barrel Racing Supplies
There are so many supplements and feed out there, and everyone has their own opinion about them. No barrel racing equipment list is complete without appropriate feed and supplements. Here are some of our tried and true favorites.
Feed for Barrel Racing
I like to feed my horses Bluebonnet Intensify Ex-Factor and Pride of the High Plains Alfalfa cubes. I normally feed more of the cubes than grain. Their bodies are designed to consume forage all day, and this combination helps prevent ulcers and acid build-up in their stomach.
Best Supplements for Horse Barrel Racing Success
Horse barrel racing requires a well-cared-for horse. Besides giving them a quality feed, including these supplements will help them feel their best on and off the course.
- Formula 1 NōNI Blue Label for their joints
- Equinety Ultimate OEC for hoof support and muscle recovery
- Electrolytes to keep them drinking on and off the road
- MVP Calm-Ex to keep them focused.
- Stride Gastro Phix to help prevent ulcers and soothe their stomachs during stressful times.
After a run, use a liniment or a poultice on their legs to help them recover quicker and prevent them from being sore. Some of our favorite liniment brands are Vetericyn and Bigeloil. Sore No More and Ice Tight poultice deliver results and clean up fast.
When it is hot outside, rinse off your horses with cool water before loading them in the trailer, and a quick rinse after a run or workout helps them cool off.
Horse Boots For Barrel Racing
Before an event or long trip, combining Back on Track products with Draw it Out helps keep your horse's legs in prime condition. Back on Track boots help increase blood circulation and promote nitric oxide production in the blood vessels. Draw it Out spray helps ensure there is no swelling or heat in the horse's legs.
There are a couple of different types of horse boots that can be used. Classic Equine classic fit boots on both front and back, and a quality pair of bell boots are a must. The boots provide excellent support to the tendons and ankle without making their legs too hot.