The sport of barrel racing is one of the most technical, fun, and adrenaline filled event in the equine industry. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. Today’s riders are all caught up in owning the $30,000 horse with the $70,000 truck and trailer; that does not even include the price of maintenance and equipment. Although, I do not mean to discourage anyone away from the sport. You can still be a winner without spending a small fortune. In this article I will show you seven steps to becoming a successful barrel racer on a budget.
1. You must accept your financial status. No matter what sport you are in, you are always going to have to compete with those that are more privileged. This is not a weakness or handicap, so do not be discouraged or bitter. Let it inspire you.
2. Now that you have accepted your financial position, you must make do with what you have. Do not get caught up with what others can do. A $6,500 bumper pull and 1500 truck will get you to the same barrel race or rodeo as the $70,000 rig. No matter what you drive, it will have zero impact on what happens in the arena.
3. There is a great competitive advantage that so many riders do not take advantage of and that is being the most correct rider. No matter what level horse you are mounted on, people notice and applauded those who ride well. So many riders are over mounted and cannot control his or her horse. People notice that and you do not have to be that way. Be prepared to ride the best horse in the field.
4. Yes, most winning 1-D rodeo horses in their prime (8-14 years old) are going to be $30,000 and more. However, there are other horses out there that can win too. Older horses 16 and up are great teachers that will not only take you to the pay window, but will teach how to really ride and be grateful. These horses are veterans of the sport and know the way to success.
5. Earlier I stated that you should not try to keep up with everyone else has. However, there is importance to having good quality equipment and feed that will help your horse perform to the best of his or her ability. The money you save on not buying a huge truck, trailer, and fancy horse, can be invested in a nice saddle that will help you ride, joint supplements to keep your horse feeling good, and high quality feed that will give the best nutrition.
6. Once you have mastered the older horse and have superior riding skills than your competition, the next step is buying a young horse. Younger horses are more expensive than the older horses because there is no limitation to their potential. And in addition younger horses are still not too high in price. Now that you have perfected your riding skills and understand barrel racing, you can train and bring along a young prospect. This will be the most rewarding of the steps. Nothing is more satisfactory than winning on a horse you trained and tuned.
7. This last step might be the most important. Embrace your failure and lack of funds. It will make you the a humble and talented rider, which can never be taken away from you. Let limitations be inspiration to do great things in barrel racing. And always help those less fortunate, they need someone to inspire them too.