barrelracing - http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_racing...

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_racing Barrel Racing is a form of rodeo event that demands some of the most athletic horses and dedicated riders. Success can be defined in terms of financial earnings, or more simply, pattern completion and fastest time. The sport in itself consists of horse and rider combining the horse's athletic ability and the superb horsemanship skills of the riders in order to safely and successfully maneuver their horses in a clover leaf pattern around three barrels (typically three fifty-five gallon metal barrels, but as long as the size and shape of the barrel is accurate, different material can be used.) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena. In timed rodeo events, the purpose is to make a run as fast as possible, often characterized as breakneck speed, while the time is being clocked either by an electric eye , (a device using a laser system to record times), or by an arena attendant or judge who manually takes the time using a keen eye and a flag to let a clocker know when to hit the timer stop; though this last method is primitive by today's standards. The timer begins when horse and rider cross the start line, and ends when the barrel pattern has been successfully executed and horse and rider cross the finish line. The rider's time depends on several factors, most commonly the horse's physical and mental condition, the rider's horsemanship abilities, and the type of ground or footing (the quality, depth, content, etc. of the sand or dirt in the arena). The Pattern Diagram of a Barrel Racing Course. Riders enter at the red line, circle around the 1st barrel, proceed to the 2nd barrel, and then continue on to the 3rd where they will complete the pattern and finally exit the course crossing the red line a second time. This pattern is often referred to as a "Cloverleaf" The pattern may also begin with the left barrel first. Beginning a barrel race, the horse and rider will enter the arena at top speed, through the center entrance(or alley if in a rodeo arena). Once in the arena, the electronic timer beam is crossed, or broken, and begins to keep time.
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The approach to the first barrel is a critical moment in the life of a successful pattern; the rider must rate their horse's speed at the right moment to enter the "pocket". The pocket is the term used to describe the area around the barrel in which the horse should use to make the fastest possible turn. As the horse sets up to take the turn, the rider must be in position as well, which entails sitting deeply in the saddle, using one hand on the pommel to keep themselves steady and still, the other hand to guide the horse through and around the barrel turn. The rider's legs will be held closely to the horses sides; the leg to the inside of the turn should be held securely along the girth to support the horse's rib cage and give them a focal point for the turn. The athleticism required for this maneuvering comes from optimum physical fitness of the rider and especially
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course ADS 4333 taught by Professor Nicodemus during the Spring '08 term at Mississippi State.

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barrelracing - http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_racing...

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