Barrel Racing for the Beginner

What is the barrel pattern?

Barrel racing for the beginner is not as difficult as some may think!

It truly is a fascinating sport that many grow to love.

Bling, Speed, and Power what is not to love?


The pattern for the beginner barrel racer consists of three barrels set up in a cloverleaf fashion.

Official Rules

Woman’s Professional Rodeo Association

  • WPRA uses a regulation standard of 150′ x 200′ arena.
  • The barrels are set up 60′ to the first and second barrel from the starting line.
  • 105′ between first and second barrel
  • at least 25′ from the third barrel to the fence

National Barrel Horse Association

  • NBHA
  • First and second barrels must be 15′ off the side fence.
  • Minimum 30′ off the third barrel and the back fence.
  • Minimum 30′ between the time line and the first barrel.
  • Men, women and children compete at NBHA shows


Barrel Racing for the Beginner

One right turn and two left turns then straight line home.

As you can see in the t-shirt above you can also make one right turn

and two left turns.

Either way is perfectly legal. As long as you go one

the correct side of the barrel.



Don’t let the little ones get discouraged!

When teaching the beginner barrel racer the pattern it is similar to

watching kids play t-ball for the first time.

Have you ever seen a little one so excited that they hit the ball and they run to third base?

The Pattern left or right?

Since it does not matter if they go to the first or second barrel first. They get that part right.

What is difficult for the nerves to overcome is the correct side of the barrels.

Many people learning young and old alike nerves and

excitement will win and the person will take their horses on the wrong

side of the barrel.

It really is cute to witness people growing in the

sport that we all love.

However, to the rider it is heart breaking!

They see failure, I see a lesson learned.

Practice Perfect

I remember at a clinic once when I was younger “Practice Perfect” in

your mind repeat the pattern ten times perfectly in your mind.

Remove all the doubt and butterflies if you can.

Your never to old to start barrel racing!

My goal is to get back in the

saddle again and compete at the AQHA World Select show one day.

Don’t be afraid to dream!

I have seen kids barely a year old sitting in the saddle with family and

friends walking with them while someone is leading their horse or

pony around the pattern.



What a wonderful feeling it is to feel the power of the barrel horse! To hear the Thunder! To feel the freedom.

When nerves get to you, remember it is just you, and your horse.

If you are needing some inspiration check out Fallon Taylors video! You don’t have to have the best just need the inspiration and motivation. I love how she breaks it down in her video. Her only request to purchase is a helmet. Safety is so important!

Watch as Fallon talks about how to train a barrel horse!

All video clips are not owned by CanChasin.Com but belong to their rightful owners. 🙂


Are you headed to watch some barrel racing at the NFR in Las Vegas? Click here for some tips!

I love going to the National Finals Rodeo and can not wait to go again next year!

The WWW.WPRA.COM offers some excellent coverage over the events of the NFR.

Such as the autograph sessions with your favorite barrel racers.

Meeting American Icon Charmayne James was such a privilege not only did she sign an autograph for me she took

the time to sign some for the girls at home and chit chat about horses.

Since the holiday season is in full swing if you can’t make it to the Cowboy Christmas at the NFR check out some of these great gift ideas.


barrel racing gifts



Thanks for stopping by! Come back soon for more tips for the beginner barrel racer and riders over 40!

Have you been to the NFR? What was your favorite moment?




Please follow and like us:
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge