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How to Purchase Your First or 20th Barrel Horse Part 1

Looking for that new barrel horse can be a long process. In this article I review the important details you need to make a smart buying decision.

Feature writer Jackie Watson behind the reins of her barrel racer.


Looking for that new barrel horse can be a long process.
For me living in South Dakota I have a variety of production horse sales I can go to or a guy can just go online these day, but for me I prefer going to the sales. You have a bigger variety of horses to choose from and depending on the market you could pickup a horse for pretty cheap of you can leave with an empty trailer depending on how much you wanna spend. What I also like about the horse sales is that you can look at weanlings, yearlings, two year old, three year olds and you’ll also have your saddles horses present.
If you are looking for that 1D barrel horse you’ll have to dig deep into your pocket, these horse don’t come cheap. The reason for this is that the horse is probably already picking up a check at the rodeos. The process of making a top notch barrel horse can takes years and a whole lot of time. There is a reason why you could pay up to $90,000 or even more for these guys. They are most likely worth it.
And then you have your 4 year olds, this certainly isn’t a bad way to go. You could have a green broke horse (just getting started under the saddle) or a horse that is just getting started on the pattern. You’ll need to finish this horse off yourself or you’d wanna find a trainer.
Next you can look at a 3 year old. It all depends on who you buy the horse from, he could be green or he could be on the pattern. With your 3 year olds and 4 year olds it’s all gonna depending on what the owner has done on him/her prior.
Now looking at a 2 year old, if someone has rushed this horse or he/she has a great mind he could be under saddle, but for me I would just be getting ready to start him on the ground work. (I’ll be touching on this at a later time)
Looking at a yearling, for this horse you could start playing with him/her, But for the most part you’ll wanna kick him out (putting out to pasture) for at least a year. And then bring em back in as a 2 year old and start your ground work on him/her.
Looking at a weanling, this is wear you can find some great prices on some nice little babies, but you are gonna have two years to let him grow up.
With this being your foundation for looking at purchasing a new barrel horse there are so many things to consider when looking at that barrel horse. conformation, blood lines, temperament and of course the dollar amount. I will be touching on all these topics as time goes on.

Jackie Watson was born and raised in Arizona. It was here she developed her passion for horses and barrel racing at an early age. Today, Jackie lives in South Dakota where she & her supportive husband, Travis Veal, raising a future bareback champion, Tucker (age 15) & Jacelyn (age 4) her future barrel racing champion. Amazingly, this busy mother has held her SDRA card but currently loves participating in the 4D's and breaking and starting barrel horses she is also working towards completing her studies in equine sports therapist.

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