I have barrel raced basically since I have been old enough to hold on well enough. I have had 3 horses my first was about a 3d-4d horse I made it to the NBHA on her for the peewee class which that was what age group I was in then. Then I still had her and I moved up to another great mare. She was a solid 1d-2d horse for me. I won a lot of stuff on her. Now I have another mare now which I am currently barrel racing now. She is super fast. My fastest time so far since I have been competing is a 16 second run and that was a pretty good size pattern also not big big but not small small either. All of my barrel horses also run poles and do all the play day events including poles 1 poles 2 single stake hurry scurry texas barrel etc. all the play day events. Trust me you will love love barrel racing and competing. I am sure you will be great. I love to talk to people about my barrel horse (s) and trail horses.
I actually got a flat 15 once on a big pattern!! I was pretty happy. Problem was that the horse wasn't really controllable at a run and so the only time I could actually get a barrel pattern out of him was when he wanted to do it. LOL That was years ago....Loved that horse but he was a pain.
Diablo was in fantastic shape and I rode almost every day back in those days. His name pretty much says it all. If he had a bit in his mouth, he snapped his teeth....constantly. Not so bad with a hack. He had 2 speeds....dead run and dead stop. Once you got him stopped he never moved until you asked him to. But keeping him from running non-stop was a full time job when you were riding him. I used him for everything tho....showed him at 4H shows in all events (except reining...never did do that) and we used him for cattle all the time too. He tore my knees up something fierce...I couldn't figure out why anyone would want to teach a horse to go sideways as it was rather painful for my knees. LOL He also taught me to ride by balance alone as you never, ever wanted to put any pressure on his sides....it was a cue to run in his mind!
Yeah he seemed like a pretty good horse. My horse has cues to just like him. But she is very obeying but she is also high strung. She also does trail riding to. I have ran barrels and poles at 4h before also in a covered arena. And to be honest my first horse not the one I was just talking about but another one. We bombed the poles which we knocked down like 3 ( and we were not very fast in barrels either idk what happened.
I think my fastest was a 17 and that was with a 25 year old Arab gelding that I had. He had been trained on barrels when he was younger, when I got him I mostly showed him in hunter under saddle and western pleasure, then I got into doing gymkhana. He loved running barrels. When he would get in the arena you could feel his heart pounding. He was used as a lesson horse too with handicapped kids and was very gentle, but super fast when I rode him. lol I ran another horse that was a grade QH, he was about 18, he would always do a little jig walk afterwards, the only time he ever showed any pep. lol He was our best lesson horse too, I could take him out and run barrels on him, then you could put a little kid on him and he would just drop his head and barely move. He was so smart he could tell if a person knew how to ride as soon as they got on him and would adjust his speed accordingly.
Have you been watching the NFR? They must have a smaller arena, most times have been 13-14. Of course they are pro's and the top end of the pro's.
Yeah the NFR has a small pattern that's why they have 13-14 times. On a small pattern I can run like a very very fast time. One time I was piddling around at home and I set up a tiny pattern (not the pattern I normally practice on) but I just thought this would be cool. So I made a small one and tan like a 12 second run. LOL!!!!!!! It was so awkward lol lol
Yeah my horse(s) will stop like that to lol because they works off of leg pressure lol I just have to give them the right cue lol but on a pattern she is serious and is wide open and stopping is not in her mind during the pattern. But stops great once they is done with the pattern. Lol