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The Rush Against Time
Barrel racing is trilling, enjoyable, exciting, and fun, but yet at the same time bad, accidents can happen. When people in pro barrel racing are in a rush against time, that person is “flying” through the pattern. People prep their horses all nice and shiny for this event. People wear nice, shiny show shirts and belts full of bling. But yet they all share a common interest, their love their horses unless you’re forced into riding. When the riders are starting at the gate, it’s a lot of emotions and nerves and adrenaline all mixed together.
All the horses and their riders surround the outside of the arena. The horses know what’s coming and are pumped up ready to go. The riders are waiting for their turn to go in the arena to show off what they and their horses can do. Each one of the riders with their show shirts, a shiny belt, and bling on their pants. Every horse’s 1tack all different colors. Some of the tack has bling on it such as the 2headstall and 3breast collar. Some of the tack on the horses is animal prints like giraffe, zebra, cheetah, and turtle. Almost everyone and everyone’s horse’s tack matches. If the rider is wearing blue, the horse’s 4saddle pad, breast collar, head stall, and 5leg wraps match what the rider is wearing. But there you’re, sitting on your horse, your friends beside you standing in a line waiting to go in the arena. You’re tack is sky blue, your breast collar made out of the same belt that is around your waist holding your pants up. You’re head stall also matches your breast collar. The sky blue leg wraps match your quarter horse appaloosa 6gelding‘s saddle pad.
When you hear your name called all the nerves flow through your body. You’re worried that you may break the pattern. You’re worried that you may tip over a barrel over. The girl that just finished her run walks past you, her horse full of sweat and breathing hard. Then you here her time; she just got a 10.6 seconds. You’re freaking out that, o man that’s a good time, and you worry that your horse isn’t fast enough not fast enough, to bet her time. But then you hear your name called again and then, the girl that just ran comes up beside you and says, “Good Luck, go easy around the third barrel, the sand is a little damp from the rain last night. Oh and there is also a banner hanging on the fence there, that on one end it isn’t hooked down and it’s been scaring the horses but no one will fix it. You better get in there before they move on.” You start towards the gate your horse scout is getting jumpy, and all fired up and ready to take off, to do the barrel pattern. Scout knows what is coming in that arena he sees the three barrels. You’re holding the 7reins and trying to get scout to go into the arena calmly. You get in the arena you hear the gate shut right behind you. It’s just you, scout, and three barrels there is no backing out at this point. You start your 8warm up circle you line up yourself with the third barrel. You brace yourself, holding on tight to your reins so that you don’t lose them. You put your heals way down in the 9stir ups to help you stay in the 10saddle. You’re ready to take off.
You take off making your way to the first barrel. You run past the timer, now you’re in a race against time. When you come up to the first barrel you make a five foot 11pocket between you and the barrel. Then you pull your right hand up, so that your right hand is higher than your left hand. You pull the rein to turn the scout’s head in toward the barrel. Your left hand pulls the left rein over its neck as if your where 12neck reining him. When you feel scout move you move with him, trying to keep your belly button lined up with the 13horn. If you don’t line up your belly button with the horn and you lean too much you will fall off. The turn is too wide and now you have to make up a second going to the second barrel.
Having known that you lost time you kick scout to go faster you loosen up the reins so that scout has no presser on his mouth, so he can run as fast as he can. While running to second barrel all that you can think about is what if scout doesn’t take the right 14lead, what if he doesn’t turn sharp enough, and what if he turns to sharp and knocks over the barrel. If you knock over the barrel time is added to your score or you could possibly be disqualified. You’re coming up to the second barrel you do just what you were taught to do, make that five foot pocket between you and the barrel, then you slow down a little bit. Then as you come up to the pocket you are getting your hands placed, so that your left hand is higher than your right hand, but not too high about mid chest. As you come into the pocket you pull up with your left hand to bring scouts head towards the barrel and bring your right hand over as if you were neck reining him. Scout picks up on his 15right lead the lead that you wanted him to take. As you finish the turn you realize that you cut it too tight, so you pick up your left foot, keeping it in the stir up and pulling it back. Picking up the leg worked and you make a good recover. Now you’re making a mad dash to the third and final barrel.
As scout is running toward the third barrel you remember what the one girl told said “go easy around the third barrel the sand is a little damp from the rain last night. Oh, there is also a banner hanging there that on one end it isn’t hooked down and it’s been scaring the horses but no one will fix it.” Pulling back on the reins to slow scout down telling him easy, easy boy. Making the pocket one last time and holding your hands just like you did going around the second barrel. The third barrel was the best one for that run you take a quick glance at the clock you’re at a 9.7 seconds right now. You’re kicking scout to go you 16open him up. When the horse is running as fast as he can and your sitting there wind in your face you feel… free. You have the pride knowing that you did the best that you could do and the fact that you finished the whole pattern, without tipping over a barrel. Now you know what you have to work on such as, not turning so sharp.
When you pass the timer the time stopped you didn’t hear or see what you got. You do the 17finish circle and walk out of the arena and walk over to your friends, and stand beside them watching everyone else. You watch one girl lean to far over going around a barrel and her horse’s right hind leg slips she loses her balance and falls off. Her foot has been caught stir up and the horse won’t stop she’s screaming you can hear the pain in her voice. People around the arena race in to stop the horse some people got back on their horses and went in the arena trying to corner the horse to stop it. The horse is finally caught they remove the girls leg and take her boot off. Blood soaked through her pant leg, her arm full of blood and sand from being dragged across the arena, and getting her arm stepped on by her horse. People help her walk out of the arena people are calling 911, they get her out of the arena and take her to the hospital tent. They call over the intercom that the show is still going to continue. Five girls take their turn and each one finishing with a 10.8 seconds higher than the leader right now. Now you and our friends are waiting for the scores and who placed first.
Then soon after the last girl takes her run the announcer starts talking over the intercom. The announcer says, “We would like to thank everyone for coming out today and riding at our show. We have seen a lot of fast horses, and very good riders, we hope that you come out to our next show in two months. We are now going to tell you our first place winner. Your first place winner is…… Rider #245 on scout. Congratulations come and pick up your 18jackpot money on in the announcers booth. You walk up to the announcers booth get your money and have your picture taken with scout.
The trill of barrel racing is enjoyable, exciting, fun, but at the same time it is dangerous. People can fall off their horses, the lean over too much and down they go, people can get their foot caught in the stir up and the horse takes off. There are things that can happen to you in the arena, but riding your horse in arena and just taking your time can also be fun and enjoyable.
1Tack- Term used to describe any of the various equipment and accessories worn by a horse
2Headstall- The part of the bridle or halter that fits around a horse’s head.
3Breast Collar- A piece of riding equipment used on horses. Its purpose is to keep the saddle or harness from sliding back.
4Saddle Pad- Pads or fabrics inserted under a saddle. These are usually used to absorb sweat, cushion the saddle, and protect the horses back.
5Leg Wrap- Are used mainly for protection during ridden work, longeing, and turnout.
6Gelding- A castrated animal; a male horse.
7Reins- A long narrow strap attached at one end to a horse's bit, typically used in pairs to control a horse in riding or driving.
8Warm up circle- When entering the ring you make a circle without tripping the timer; You make a warm up circle to get the horse on the right lead.
9Stir ups- Each of a pair of devices attached to each side of a horse's saddle, in the form of a loop with a flat base to support the rider's foot.
10Saddle- A leather seat fastened on the back of a horse or other animal for riding.
11Pocket- A gap between you and the barrel used in barrel racing to give the horse more room to turn; usually a five foot gap.
12Neck reining-A type of indirect rein aid.
13Horn- A high pommel of a Western saddle (usually metal covered with leather).
14Lead- refers to which set of legs, left or right, leads or advances forward to a greater extent when a quadruped animal is cantering, galloping, or leaping.
15Right Lead- the left hind leg is placed first (beat one), which would then be followed by the right hind and left foreleg (beat two), before the right foreleg (beat three).
16Open him up or opening up a horse- No pressure on the mouth; letting the horse run as fast as he/she can.
17Finish Circle- When finished with any games the finish circle turns them before they run into the fence and helps to get them to slow down.