Do you know how to pole bend and barrel race? Have you ever seen a barrel race at a rodeo? Pole bending is timed event that features a horse and one mounted rider, running a weaving or serpentine path around six poles arranged in a line. This event is usually seen in high school rodeos and 4-H events as well as American Quarter Horse Association and local National Barrel Horse Association shows.
Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a clover-leaf pattern around pre-set barrels in the fastest time. Though both boys and girls compete at the youth level and men compete in some amateur venues in collegiate and professional ranks, it is primarily a rodeo event for women. It combines the horse’s athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver a horse through a clover leaf pattern around three barrels (typically three fifty-five gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena.
Barrel racing originally developed as an event for women. While the men roped or rode bulls and broncs, the women barrel raced. In early barrel racing, the pattern alternated between a figure-eight and a cloverleaf pattern. The figure-eight pattern, though, was eventually dropped in favor of the more difficult cloverleaf. It is believed that barrel racing first saw competitive light in the state of Texas.
What about pole bending? Setting up the pole bending pattern is crucial to the success of this event. The pole bending pattern is to be run around six poles. Each pole is to be 21 feet apart, and the first pole is to be 21 feet from the starting line. Poles are set on top of the ground, six feet in height, with no base more than 14 inches in diameter. These are the measurements implemented and endorsed by the National High School Rodeo Association. The purpose of a universal pattern is to be able to track and compare times everywhere poles are run.
Now do you know your pole bending and barrel racing information? For more information about pole bending and barrel racing check out these websites.
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