In barrel races, there are two types of running styles: the push style and free runner. Both have their pros and cons.
The push style is the more common of the two and, for many people, easier to manage. However, free runners have higher speeds.
Look at an overview of the two styles, what makes them different, and the pitfalls and strengths of each. While we also talk about horse starfishing.
The Barrel Horse Herringbone Style
Definition Of Push Style
Push-style horses are naturally the fastest. The moment you sit down and poke their horns, they rotate.
Usually, they need to practice things like perfect hoops because of their excessive exuberance when turning. It can also lead them to develop habits like rolling behind the barrel.
This commonly occurs when the cyclist has a habit of pushing them too far from the barrel to prevent them from turning too early.
We recommend, although it may look exceptional in competition, it does slow down your career and adds tenths to the clock as it requires a sharp change of direction that forces your horse to fight its forward momentum.
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Rollback horses have a higher chance of sliding and spinning, just like a car edges in when it turns sharply at high speed.
Mechanically, a round curve better prepares your horse so that his hind end right under them, taking advantage of the momentum he has already accumulated and the power that its hindquarters generate when shooting at maximum capacity.
Push Style Button
The push style button is the type of horse that many riders prefer.
The barrel race is a fast-paced adrenaline rush similar to that of a roller coaster.
Push style horses need an active rider, hence the name push style. In and out of turns, they must be driven carefully.
A push style horse with a reserved rider will never reach its full potential. Having said that actively does not mean crazy, and when I say insane, I mean starfish.
What Does Starfishing Mean for Horses?
Horse starfishing, The S- word every barrel racer never wants to hear, is the scapegoat for barrel racing horses.
Animal rights activists are always looking through disks of footages, looking for that moment where a perfectly timed daylight peaks between the horse’s back and the rider’s posterior. When this happens, they will gracefully scream starfisher!.
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Sometimes they are right. People who are surely starfishers must be ashamed of themselves, especially those who vocally defend their actions and encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
Starfishing horses is not a thing to be proud of.
However, there are perfectly timed moments where the rider’s butt slips off the saddle for a short while. They do not deserve to be labeled a star fisher.
A starfisher could probably fit a basketball right between their butt and the saddle, and they are the ones with the big air coming out from the third barrel.
Let’s be practical, having someone jab you from behind in the ribs, both sides of your ribs hard enough. That immediately takes your breath away and leaves you shrieking in pain.
Horse Starfishing isn’t right.