Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

Saved By Grace Ranch
 

What we look for in a barrel horse prospect

Mind and attitude-
 
I want a horse to have a sane mind.
A fragile minded horse tends to take longer to train because you have to somewhat baby them along the way.
 
-I prefer a more laid back kind of horse.
Not lazy but doesn't spook at every little movement.
 
*high strung horse tends to be a trainwreck when speed is added and laid back horse seems to take things in stride....
Size-
 
 -A barrel horse can be 14 hh or 16 hh. As long as they are properly weight and size balanced throughout their body.
 
*Martha Josey’s "Orange Smash" was almost 16.3 hh!
 
*Fallon Taylor's Babyflo and Sherry Cervi's "Stingray" are about 14hh!
Blood Lines-
 
- we personally prefer cow lines as opposed to racing bloodlines.
 
-they tend to be quieter and think before they react.
 
-they are super smart.
 
-they are quick and catty.
 
-they are agile and athletic.
Head-
        
- Wide distance between eyes

 -Large nostrils (for increased oxygen  intake)

- Short mouth (as opposed to a long mouth, in which the bit can interfere with the teeth, also tend to be less
sensitive or have less feeling). Too short-mouthed of a horse can also have problems and parrot mouths are
frowned upon. Too short and parrot mouths can cause eating and chewing problems. 
 
NECK-

- Some length to it, but balanced to the body. A horse with a shorter back can have a shorter neck. Same if
he has a longer back, he can have a longer neck. Important piece is to be balanced.
 
-Tie in cleanly to throatlatch.
 Refined where it comes into the chest.
 Ideal throat latch is small and refined.
Shoulder-
 
- Long shoulder, with the point of shoulder as low and forward as possible.

- Hip and shoulder angle should match.

 A muscled shoulder, but not a horse too wide between the front legs and over muscled in the front end as he
will rely on his front-end too much and lose speed in the turns. 
Front End-

-The shape of an inverted “v” between the front legs as opposed to boxy, square or flat front end. The “v” is the
musculature between the front legs, where the legs attach to the horse’s chest and shoulders.

-A well-muscled chest consisting of long bulging muscle as opposed to short bulging muscle. Long muscling
allows a horse to move better and makes him less prone to injury or soreness.

- Knees close to ground, i.e. short, wide cannon bones.

- Shoulders, knees and feet line up (i.e. straight line when looking from side and front). Improper alignment
results in soundness issues.

- Calf kneed or “back in the knees” is a fault.

- Pigeon-toed (toed in) and splay-footed (toed out) are faults as well.
 
Pasterns-

- Average length – Too short takes a lot of concussion from the ground, making it hard on the horse and hard to stay sound. Too long is worse in that it has too much give and stresses the suspensory system with each step
(the suspensory system includes the ligaments and tendons of the legs).
Heart Girth-

- Average heart girth – A horse with a really deep heart girth uses his front end too much. On the other end of
the spectrum a “lizard-gutted” horse (shallow in the heart girth or tucked up like a greyhound) doesn’t have the
power to push when his body is bent the middle of the turn and makes him vulnerable to soreness and injury. 
Back and Underline-

- Short, strong back.
- Long underline. (A short underline increases a horse’s chance or overreaching)
Withers-

- Good withers hold a saddle in place.

-Don’t judge a young horse solely on his withers as he can develop them later (3 or 4 year old years). 
Hindquarters-

 Should be long and not flat on top and not drop off too much.

-- A lot of inside, hind-leg muscle necessary for a horse to run, stop and turn quickly.

-Long smooth muscles (short bunchy muscles get sore more quickly and are choppy movers). 
Back legs-

- Strong through the gaskins, inside muscling more important than outside.

-Some width between the hind legs (where there is width there is balance). When the horse’s feet are wide
apart, his whole body frame has more support and better balance. Athletic ability is tied to soundness.
 Hocks should be low to the ground. Low hocks and short cannon bones create a horse that is athletic and stays
sound. Cow hocked is accepted over hocks that point out.

- Hind leg structure should line up just like his front leg structure (hips, legs, feet). The shorter cannon bone
lessons the stress on these areas and distributes it throughout the body.

-Dog-legged or sickle-hocked conformation results in a loss of power and ability to push out of a turn. Legs that
sit out behind the horse or legs that are straight up and down are weak and the horse is unable to get the
impulsion that he needs.

- When he moves, he should take his hind foot and stride over the track of his front foot. Movement should be
long and ground covering. Supple and soft with a gliding motion.

- Excessive knee or hock action (picking feet up high) is not desirable in a speed horse because there’s wasted
motion and time when the legs are in the air.
Feet-

- Start looking at a horse at his feet and work your way up. Texture is more important than color.

-The appearance and condition of the hooves are indicative of past nutrition, care and disease.
 Well proportioned and has appears waxy, smooth, and shiny.

- No cracks, some moisture, and is not dry or crumbly.

- Coronary band should be slightly resilient, not dry and leathery. NO heat in coronary band or hoof.

- Hoof should be round and not pointed or cut off square.

- The slope of the hoof should match the slop of the pastern and the shoulder.

- The heel should have some width to it and not be low to the ground.

- Hoof should not be mule-footed (wall too steep all the way around foot) or clubfooted.
Gender- 
 
MARES-
 
-Mare tend to be very smart and will cheat you if they can.
 
-Mares get bored easily and learn quickly so changing things up is a must.
 
-Mares will give you their heart if you've bonded with them.
 
GELDINGS-
 
-A gelding tends to be more forgiving when you make mistakes.
 
-Everything is fine as long as he's fed.
 
STALLIONS-
 
-You need to be VERY aware of where you put him at barrel races because he's aware.
 
-Stallions tend to be easy going but like mares they tend get bored easily.
 
-A stallion will give you his heart as long as he's treated right, as will most horses.
 
Heart-
 
-The most inportant ingredient is
HEART.
 
--A good barrel horse will have a ton of heart.
 
- He will have grit and try, no matter how many times he fails he'll get up and try again just to please you!!!!