What Equipment Do You Need for Barrel Racing?
As with other equine disciplines, chasing cans requires the right tack to be successful and protect your horse. But what equipment do you need for barrel racing? This in-depth barrel racing equipment list will go over the must-have supplies available from NRS. With this guide at your side, you will be able to select the proper tack for you and your horse, including barrel racing boots and other equipment. Read on to learn more.
Barrel Racing Saddle
Of all the barrel racing gear, the most important is a lightweight saddle that can stand up to the demands of this lighting-fast sport. Every second counts, so you don't want to weigh your horse down. A barrel racing saddle should weigh between 11-15lbs.
This barrel racing equipment is unique because it is specifically designed to keep you in the seat when you're making turns.
- A higher cantle helps to keep you in your seat.
- A taller and thinner horn is easier to grab hold of.
- A deeply cut pommel allows you to grip it with your thighs for added security when making sharp turns.
Because of all the quick turns, it's imperative that the saddle fits your horse — and you — properly. If it doesn't fit, the horse won't be able to turn correctly and can throw off your balance.
A perfect fit and breathability are key considerations for this type of barrel racing gear. It should be made of absorbent material like compressed wool instead of neoprene or other synthetics. Your equine partner exerts maximum effort while competing, so you want to help keep them as cool as possible. Make sure the saddle pad isn't too thick, or it can cause the saddle to roll.
Breast collars are essential barrel racing accessories because they help balance the saddle, keep it upright and prevent sliding. When fitting the breast collar, make sure it is snug but not too tight. You don't want it to restrict your horse's stride and slow him down.
You want a Western headstall that is tough and feels great in your hands. And just like with other barrel racing supplies, a precise fit is imperative.
Choosing the right barrel racing accessories is essential, especially with reins. Split reins can get in the way, so a continuous rein is preferred. Barrel racing reins can be held with one hand, so the rider can hold onto the saddle horn with the other.
Protective Horse Boots for Barrel Racing
Horse boots are also vital pieces of equipment needed for barrel racing. There are several different types of barrel racing horse boots — choose the best boot based on your horse's needs.
- Splint Boots - Act as a barrier to prevent external impact. These protective horse boots for barrel racing prevent the horse's leg from being damaged by the other legs and hooves or anything else they could encounter during the run.
- Support Boots/Sports Medicine Boots - Offer more protection than splint boots because they also support the fetlock joint.
- Bell Boots - Protect the pastern, coronary band and top of the hoof from a hind foot accidentally kicking or stepping on a front foot.