Ask an Expert

Sour Barrel Horses

March 12, 2012

When it comes to fixing soured barrel horses, think outside of the box.

Question:

My horse and I compete in barrel racing, but lately, he’s been refusing to go in the alley. What sort of training can I do to get him back to entering the alley calmly?

In the March issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal, AQHA Professional Horsewoman Traci Johnting of Butler, Kentucky, addresses training and rehabbing soured barrel horses.

Answer:

When a horse is sore or sour, going through the job of rehabbing that horse turns into a full-time endeavor.

I try to think out of the box with my soured barrel horses, and I stay off of barrels completely.

With one of my horses, I would ride him in the woods and make him bend and flex as we went down the trail and through the trees. This seemed to help with his turning when I did race him again. The main goal was to get him to relax at the gate and go in the arena and work.

– AQHA Professional Horsewoman Traci Johnting

How does a horse get sour? Find out some of the causes of soured barrel horses and how to fix them in the March issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.