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WHAT DOES 'BROKE' MEAN?
by Jena Garwood
If you ask 20 different barrel racers what “broke” means in a horse, you’ll get 20 different answers. Even the top futurity trainers have very different ideas when it comes to how they want or need their horse to handle before going to the pattern. In the warm-up pen, you see everything from horses riding around like reiners, to horses that are just running around nearly out of control. So, obviously this is a matter of taste.
In college I was blessed to ride several horses through multiple training and horsemanship semesters with Walt Brindley. We learned what a foundation was in the show world. As I started training barrel horses, I carried that over. For me, a “broke” horse is one that you can control their different parts—head, shoulders, ribs, and hips— all independently, with relative ease. I don’t want to have to “make” that part move—I want to give a cue, have the horse understand the cue, and respond (not react). The majority of horses can be taught to make a very efficient, correct pattern if you have control of their parts—regardless of their breeding or conformation. Read more...
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