Can a Tennessee Walker Barrel Race?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sassymygirl, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. Sassymygirl

    Sassymygirl Miss Equestrian

    Sep 16, 2008
    Carencro, Louisiana
    Hi, I'm just wondering....Can they? I have a 11yr old and he's a very fit horse, didn't do good with jumping. So I wanna try barrel racing. I just want your opinion on this. [​IMG]
  2. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    In theory, yes, a TWH CAN do barrel racing.

    However, will your horse be a good candidate?

    I board at a TWH barn and the owner is also a trainer who does quite well. There are a few NWHA champs at the stable. Anyway (just trying to show my credibility there).

    Most TWHs are long limbed, long bodied and usually don't have a lot of lateral flexion. The best barrel horses are usually fairly short, compact with short legs and huge hindquarters. You want quick, fast, short strides for maneuverability. Think of a Ford Focus versus a Lincoln Towncar. You want a Ford Focus horse, most TWHs are more along the lines of a Lincoln or Cadillac: long, smooth strides. I've seen a few people take Thoroughbreds and try to barrel race them but the strides are just too long and they have a hard time getting around the barrels regardless of how fast they are on the flat.

    So what's you horse's conformation like?

    A lot of people around here do not take the time to properly train their horse for barrels. Most people just slap on a saddle, set up a few barrels in the pasture and gallop it over and over again. Most people do not take the time to teach lead changes or to even teach the horse how to walk. Those with money usually have 3 separate horses: one for show, one for speed events, one for trails. Again, if you go about it improperly it will turn your horse into a headcase. Then again, I am in Michigan. Most people out west know what they're doing better than our pseudo-cowgirls around here.

    I'm not trying to discourage you from trying, by all means try, but you may not do very well.

    If he's very fit, maybe you should try short endurance rides or a competitive trail ride if you want to compete but don't want to do arena classes.

    Where are you located?
  3. babyblue

    babyblue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2009
    in a fun show kind of barrel raceing yes he can physicaly do it. however hes not going to be ultra competative and will require training and conditioning.
  4. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    Yes they can barrel race [​IMG] TWEBA has a versatility program for youth and they pole bend, barrel race ect. several of my 4-H girls have gotten their versatility awards. It takes a lot of work but it can be done. however it is very hard for them to be competitive with Quarter Horses. over the weekend we had our county fair. I was announcing so my friend Kate showed Sailor. Sailor was trained for reining and mostly shows pleasure around here. We live in a very walker centric area (our first county fair show here she was the ONLY QH, we showed in country pleasure it was hysterical) anyway we have come along way in several years we had more in WP than any gated class for the first time this year. Rambling toward a point. anyway Sailor has never done barrels or poles until Kate decided to try it with her. She cantered the whole Pole pattern until the final run when she realized Kate wanted her to actually run, then she exploded across the ring. She placed fourth behind the other trained QHs and ahead of the TWH that were trained for it. But even the TWH beat the 4 beater dirt sniffer [​IMG] we have fun. I say try it
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    The people asked me about Paso Finos if they can barrel race, they SURE can! Even they do best in lateral and they would have to be conditioned to do the turns, much tighter than the usual figure 8's they show in the showring.

    My uncle had a pair of Foxtrotters and they do know how to barrel race. So seeing that the Foxtrotters are the distant cousins of the TWH, I see why not use the TWH for barrel racing!
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    We had a great twh speed event horse. It really depends on the individual and the rider though. Plenty of quarter horses are horrible barrel prospects even though they are the most common breed used for barrels. Plenty of good barrel horses never reach even a portion of their potential due to poor training. It is best to get a trained barrel horse who is retiring to learn on. It's just not something you can teach a horse if you've never done it. There's a whole lot more to a good (and safe) barrel run than go and turn. You have to know the timing, signals, and seat to use before you can explain it to your horse. Even getting a trainer to help just isn't as good as riding the real thing for a year. I used my former western pleasure quarter gelding for barrels and pole bending for years before getting a trained barrel mare. The difference was immediately clear. In 6months I learned more than all those years of others helping out in my gelding's training and experienced riders trying to explain things to me. Kind of like when I got my filly out of reining lines and I asked how to train a reining horse. I got unanimously told to go ride one and then come back and ask again.
  7. Sassymygirl

    Sassymygirl Miss Equestrian

    Sep 16, 2008
    Carencro, Louisiana
    Quote:I'm from Louisiana,
    And as for my horses conformation, all of his hooves slightly turn out. He has long sloping shoulders. He's 15.3hh. Heres the best pic I could find of him, my friend was riding him at the time. I'll get more pics of him later. I've been thinking about doing competitive trail riding with him, if the barrel racing doesn't work out.
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    If you are just doing it for fun, then do it............ no matter what type of horse. If you want to seriously barrel race, she may not be the best horse. I always did it for fun, and did everything to endurance riding , arena games, trail riding, jumping, english, western etc... with a 14.1 hand horse.... just having fun. My friend even barrel raced her horse in an english saddle once........ we all had a ball.
  9. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Quarter horses are the breed of choice, followed by the Arabian ( they were born and bred in the deserts of Arabia and surrounding areas, and were the choice of knights and nobles of the middle ages as their choice as War horses and were then crossbred with local stock mares to add speed, stamina, and inteligence)... these horses are built for quick speed and manueverability.
  10. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    I love Walkers for trail rides. Are there any Clubs around you? Like riding or 4H?

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