Pole Bending

    Pole bending can be a useful tool for a barrel horse to know because it can teach your horse how to stand up. A lot of horses have a problem of lying down when going to a turn at a barrel. If your horse gets to lying down, it can cause hitting barrels. It also can make a horse fall down if the ground isn’t good. Teaching your horse the pole bending pattern can help with this problem.

    Pole bending is a fast event where it comes down to being smooth through the poles. When going through the poles you want to have your body square and your hands as quiet as possible. Avoid leaning and be sure to keep your elbows bent and close to your body. Horses have to be able to change their leads at a fast pace and be able to flex laterally. Teaching your horse to flex laterally can help you when you ask them to stand up at a barrel. Making your horse stand up merely means that the horse isn’t leaning into a turn and dropping down in their front end. You should treat the end poles like turning a barrel. You want to give your horse a pocket and room to turn.

    You don’t have to be on the fastest horse out there to be successful at Pole Bending but rather the smoothest and most fluid while weaving through them. Being a good pole bender will not only help you improve your barrel racing, but will also help you when you want to sell your horse since it is able to do more than one event. Pole Bending can also help if you are competing for an All-Around title. Plus doing different events on your horse will keep your horse’s mind motivated and more interested in performing for you.

    Using the proper bases to practice is important. Josey Pole Bases are the product of choice used by pole bending champions, due to their durability and stability. Our pole bases are approved by the AQHA and most other major associations because they are the proper design and weight. Each base is a made of a solid piece of durable, heavy rubber. Because of their quality design and weight, they do not have to be filled with sand. All that is required is to use six to seven foot tall, 1 ½”-inch PVC pipe from your local hardware store with each base. We always have a Pole Bending class at all of our clinics and schools because we believe in its importance.  It is one of our featured events at the start of our annual Josey Reunion every year with our winner riding away in a Josey saddle.