The coolest thing about this 4 corner barrel racing drill is that I videoed myself after this picture with a GoPro! (You can watch it if you are subscribed to BarrelRacingDrills.com ).

go the same distance around each barrel, going the same direction circling from the outside in (inside out is another drill). Some horses will try and drift off, others cut in so it is your job to keep them on the track for a perfect circle keeping their body balanced throughout. This is a lot of work for the horse so don't overdo it and only go as fast as you can do it correctly. Starting at a trot is a good warm up.
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It looks a bit distorted here due to being such a wide angle, but you get the idea! HOW:  Go the same distance around each barrel, going the same direction circling from the outside in (inside out is another drill). Some horses will try and drift off, others cut in so it is your job to keep them on the track for a perfect circle keeping their body balanced throughout. This is a lot of work for the horse so don’t overdo it and only go as fast as you can do it correctly. Starting at a trot is a good warm up. You can work up to a gallop in between and a slower gathered lope in the turns. Depending on the horse I’m circling 10 to 20 feet off the barrels and they are about 50-55 feet apart in this picture. Don’t hesitate to go wider if you need to, to keep a perfect forward moving circle.

For complete instructions and the video, be sure to login to your account at BarrelRacingDrills.com

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Here is a barrel racing exercise for you to try.  I use this one a lot and you can do quite a few different drills with just this one set up .

Do several barrel racing drills with this one setup.  http://BarrelRacingDrills.com Click to enlarge

HOW: Set three barrels up in a row (equally spaced) and you will be able to work more than one drill with your setup. In blue I’m trotting and loping perfect circles. They can be the same size or different. You can circle each barrel one or more times. Make them relaxed and balanced. In pink, I’m turning all first barrels. Approaching and leaving each like it’s first. You can also use this setup to practice your second barrel turns.

If you enjoy barrel racing drills and exercises as much as I do, you may like to subscribe to my online compendium of drills.   You will find over 80 exercises all available online at BarrelRacingDrills.com

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Solid Approach = Solid Exit

October 10, 2014

A solid approach makes for a solid exit. With second barrel, you want to make sure you are riding right up into the turn and getting your horse up into the “hole” (past barrel) before starting the turn (green). So often the horse and rider enter second barrel too wide, or in an arc (and […]

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Stay On Track

October 10, 2014

Check your tracks whenever possible. The red line indicates where many people accidentally end up. Make sure your horse is leaving the second barrel straight and strong (green line). The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so be sure to keep your horse between your hands and legs to help him stay […]

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Less Steps = Faster Time

October 10, 2014

This seems pretty obvious when you look at the picture, but this can happen really easily, even to experienced racers. Check your own tracks to make sure you aren’t taking extra steps on the way to your first barrel. The tracks didn’t show up as great in the picture (and the curve looks more exaggerated […]

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Isolate The Problem Barrel

October 9, 2014

Lessons From The Saddle 1  If you are having a problem with just one barrel, isolate that barrel and that problem. Don’t go through the rest of the pattern and start again just to work on your second barrel (for example). This image shows how I will approach and turn my second (in black) and […]

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Do As I say, Not As I Did

May 22, 2014

I’m using myself as an example of what NOT to do.   It turns out (as usual) that the video doesn’t lie.   I had a pretty good run, our first outdoor run of the year and we placed second in the 1D against a group of horses who were also just getting rolling this spring.   Not […]

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Small Space Drill with Sue Smith

April 8, 2014

If you are confined to a small space, or the only ground you have to work on isn’t that great, you do have options. Here’s a drill that NFR Qualifier, Futurity Winner, Calgary Stampede Champion Sue Smith does that will work in those cases. When your ground is poor and also when you are just […]

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Lead Change Between First and Second

February 15, 2014

When do I change? Where do I change and why do I change there?   I’ve been to quite a few barrel racing clinics and these are common questions.   How do you train your horse to change leads out of first barrel (or between first and second barrel)? I’ve heard a variety of answers all […]

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2013 NFR Round Winning Runs and Interviews

December 15, 2013

High Definition videos from the WPRA of the 2013 WNFR Round Winners.

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