Barrel Racing - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Barrel Racing

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Its a sport more often than not enjoyed by women. But its relatively new and really gained traction in 1948. That's when the women's professional rodeo association started. And since then the sport of barrel racing has grown across the united states and throughout the world.

Everybody knows and we're pretty proud of the fact that we're in sportsman's paradise. Horses and their owners make up a piece of that pie.

It's basically going around the clover-leaf pattern. You can go to the right or left first.

Get around 3 barrels and out as fast as you can.

That about sums up what barrel racing is all about. But there's more to it than racing around barrels in a clover-leaf pattern. There's also making sure the right conditions are met for a speedy run.

The heat can take a toll on them and their training when you're training hard.

But there's only so many ways you can work around the heat.

During the prime part of summer we're getting up at 3am and getting horses rode before it gets hot.

But the hot dry weather isn't just affecting the horses.... but also the sandy dirt that is in every arena across the country.

When you're heating up to the 90s and 100s that's really sucking the moisture out of the ground.

And when racing around barrels at top speeds the right soil moisture can be the difference between a great showing and last place in the timing from start to finish.

You're looking for something just a little moist that's going to hold your dirt tight. Just like this. Ok. So that's a good soil consistency. That's a good soil right there. A little dampness going on there.

This helps during critical points of a barrel race.

You want your quickness in the turns and in-between the barrels

So to get the dirt, on the dirt, in an arena, I talked with a local woman who has been riding all her life.

Alright Ashley, I've noticed some barrel races you know in between the barrel racing, they'll go out there with a tractor and water down the dirt. Why is that? What are you looking for in a perfect dirt for a barrel race? Well you want it moist enough so it doesn't clump and hold together like this. Moisture is very important but you don't want it too moist. Because if it's too moist your horse is going to bog down in the mud cause it's going to get muddy.

And the most important reason you need the right content of water in your soil.....

Moistening the soil that's gonna get it where it's tight so that your horse can get a good grip going around the barrels.

With this drought going on here in the ArkLaTex....Ashley explains what you don't want to see in an arena soil setting due to the lack of water.

You'll run into problems like this. You'll have clumps cause its so hard. Or you'll run into things like this where it's too loose and sandy and dusty.

Greene says you want your quickness in the turns and in-between the barrels. You'll get it if that soil is just right. And it pays off in wins with the lowest times from start of the clock to the finish line.

Ashley is up practicing the art of barrel racing most mornings several hours before the rooster crows.

Ashley Harris Greene has been barrel racing for a decade. There's no denying she knows her way around a barrel and that horse she rode in on. Coming up in the next half hour....I'll give barrel racing a shot myself and see if its as easy as it doesn't look.....You probably won't be surprised by what you see.

Ok Ashely give us some pointers. How do we do this barrel racing thing? Alright well first you want to warm up your horse. She's already warmed up ok. Get her muscles all lose. Next you're gonna start with a little bit of slow work around the barrels. Next you will run her ok. Are you ready to run her? That may be only a walk but we'll see.

I do better at falling through the sky than riding a horse but Ashley gave me some words of encouragement earlier in the day.

If I go out there and try to do a little barrel racing myself, how do you think that will go? I think you can do it.

Ok.....Maybe that wasn't too encouraging.....Also....before going out there myself, I wanted to know what it feels like having this kind of horse power.

You hit the starting line. The timer starts going. You go from start to finish. What is that like? It is a pure adrenaline rush that i don't get out of anything else.

So I watched ashley out there on those barrels. Now I'm gonna give it a try myself and see how i can do. Don't know if I can go quite so fast but i'll give it a go.

Before blazing that arena and showing off my barrel racing skills I reflected on something ashley said moments before.

Alright Ashley, I'm gonna start gong around the barrels here in a second. I'm gonna try and do some barrel racing myself. Give me some advice if you could. Start out slow.

And that's exactly what I did.

So I mount up and take showgirl around the barrels a couple times. She had already been warmed up and was much more ready for the run than i was.....In fact i tried to slow her down to keep her from going into cruise control. Yes....this horse was ready to fly. I wasn't so much. In fact, I started slow. And ended slow. I won't be winning any medals or prize money anytime soon in this sport. In fact....they may just pay me to stay away.

You do what you love. Ashley has been riding all her life. Victory performance horses is part of that passion. For several years, Ashley has been breeding and selling horses to the public and racing as well.

And if you're looking for a rodeo...,every year on labor day weekend over in mount Vernon, Texas, you can experiance the Franklin county Sheriffs Posse Rodeo..

So you'll have to wait a few more days to get the family out to see some great riding.

There will be barrel racing, junior barrel racing and many other events.

Adults are seven dollars, seniors are five dollars and four dollars for kids. The five and under crowd get in free.

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