Twice Around Barrel Racing Exercise

Here is a great barrel racing drill or exercise to remind your horse to stay locked on a turn and not to leave it too soon.

What you will do is circle the barrel twice (and sometimes more if necessary to get it right) before moving on to the next barrel.   Remember to properly prepare your barrel racing horse for the turn (with two hands if you would like), then ask for the turn.  Make a perfect circle around the barrel with four wheel drive forward motion.  Your horse should be moving forward in a controlled fashion arced/bent around the barrel soft in the mouth and body.

You can do this at a walk, trot and lope as long as you are working at a controlled speed.  You can use one or two hands on the rein depending on your horses level of training and your comfort level.  Its good to practice with one hand around the barrel since that’s how you are in competition (when the other is on the horn).  Remember to use your legs to help position and guide him as well.  Your inside leg will help get bend and keep him from coming in too tight.  Your outside leg should be keeping the hip in and stopping him from drifting out or going wider than you’d like.

This drill is great for the horse that bows out and off of first, goes wide off of second and/or blows out of third.   It will emphasize that you want them to finish the turn before you more onto the next barrel.    Remember to do this only at a speed it can be done correctly and with control before moving on to a fast speed.

For more barrel racing drills and exercises check out

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  1. ok i have a barrel horse and i want him to go fast around the barrels. hes fast comin home but not around the barrels as good. he knows the pattern and i would love for him to go fasted bc we could be even better than now. but can u give me good details of makin him faster around the barrels?

  2. This is great. I’m a riding instructor that has several riders competing in gymkhanas. Exercises like these are wonderful for my riders to perfect their skills before events. More please, More!!

  3. This is going to help me out a lot thank you sooo much for the tips and drills that i can do for my horse…. i am gnna be getting into the barrel racing and hopefully be in the rodeo next year…. thanks again for the info and the tips… its gnna help out a lot… sincerely kelsey

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