Horse & Rider
Barrel Racing Geldings
Evaluate and place these prospective barrel racing geldings. Then see how your choices compare to our expert judge’s.
JUDGING CONFORMATION INCLUDES the usual evaluation of balance, structural correctness, attractiveness, quality, and muscling, but can also include individual experiences and opinions. In this class I’m looking for the horse that I think would make the best barrel racing prospect.
I evaluate first and foremost on balance. I’m also looking for a functional neck, trim throatlatch, deep heartgirth, short back, and a long hip for power. Balance and eye appeal are usually the sign of an athletic horse that not only looks good but also performs well.
Next, I evaluate structural correctness. Does the horse have a long sloping shoulder, deep heartgirth, short strong back, and legs and feet free of major deviations? Horses with leg and feet problems will be placed lower as soundness means everything to any performance horse.
This gelding is the most balanced of the three, and overall balance is key to any performance horse’s abilities. He’s quite compact with a short, strong back that connects through his loin and turns over his croup smoothly. His withers are defined enough that they should keep his saddle in place in speed events.
His head isn’t refined, but his throatlatch is adequately trim, and his neck has enough length to match his compact body. His shoulder is adequately sloped, and his hip shows good slope and length, as well. His depth of heartgirth matches the length of his front leg well, and his muscling should provide enough power for the sprints required in barrel racing.
He has clean, correct leg structure which will help him stay sound. His front legs are straight through the knees when viewed from the side, and pastern slope matches his shoulder slope. His hind legs have adequately angled hocks and a cannon bone that forms a perpendicular line to the ground. Overall, he looks athletic and supple.
This gelding has some good qualities, but isn’t as well balanced from front to hind end as Gelding B. Though he has adequately prominent withers, his back is a little bit longer, which affects his overall balance. He could be stronger across his loin, and though the turn over his croup is smooth, his croup is a bit short.
He shows a nice expression on a more refined head, but isn’t as clean through his throatlatch and neck as Gelding B. His neck also ties into his chest a bit too low.
He’s not quite as deep through the heartgirth, and I’d like to see more strength in his hip and stifles. A longer hip and more muscle volume would increase his power.
His front legs are straight through the knees, and his pasterns have adequate slope. However, his hocks are set a bit too far behind him, which lessens his ability to drive from behind. He should make a good riding horse but doesn’t appear to have the structure or power needed to be highly competitive in barrel racing.
This gelding lacks overall balance, and appears less athletic and less supple than the other two. Barrel racing requires nimbleness as well as speed. His withers are less prominent, and his back is a bit long. He’s also a little bit higher in his hips than his withers, which will make him heavier on his forehand.
His head is slightly convex, and his neck is quite short and thick without much tapering at his throatlatch. His neck ties into his chest well, and his shoulder has adequate slope. His depth of heartgirth is good, but he’s also quite thick all the way back to his flank. His hip is well sloped and deep, but I don’t feel it can make up for the heaviness in his front end that comes from being built slightly downhill.
His legs have plenty of bone and look clean. His front legs have good, flat knees and well-sloped pasterns while his hind legs have well-angled hocks with a plumb line to the ground through his cannon bones.