Video Review: Barrel Horse Wellness

When your seasoned barrel horse fights you going into the alleyway, or performs a not-so-good pattern, do you immediately take him to the practice pen to drill or punish him? This could be misguided. According to Kansas veterinarian and barrel racer, Dr. Jeff Van Petten, “Eighty-five percent of training problems with horses are due to pain or physical limitation.”

In this first National Barrel Horse Association-endorsed wellness video, Dr. Van Petten walks you and his demonstration horse through the barrel pattern, explaining potential physical problems that may be interfering with your horse’s ability to perform barrel racing’s high-speed, athletically challenging maneuvers.

As a speed-event competitor, I found Dr. Van Petten’s walk-through examination informative in helping me diagnose the reasons my horse sometimes balks going into the arena, or why he may exit his turns too wide. Dr. Van Petten’s segment on proper barrel horse stretching is something I’ll definitely incorporate into my future warm-up sessions to help relieve pain and prevent injury. If you’re a serious speed-event competitor, this video is a must-have investment.

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