Dear Barrel Racer,
Social media is great and all, until you’re a barrel racer and somebody doesn’t agree with the way you’re riding or training.
In just the last couple of weeks, we have seen world champions attacked for the way they start their horses on the pattern, calls for an NFR qualifier’s sponsors to abandon her and her fan base diminished over one controversial training move and females frenzying over men they met on dating apps who wear cowboy hats.
As an organization, we have been attacked on multiple fronts simply for covering the sport and posting winners’ videos.
“How can you support these women?” followers asked.
And it isn’t just the women. We shared a video of a respected male barrel racer on our socials, and hate comments poured in against this man. Assumptions about his beliefs, lifestyle choices and integrity as a human far surpassed the number of comments made about his riding and training ability.
I started thinking about a quote that 20-time world champion roper Jackie Crawford said on an episode of The Breakaway Breakdown we filmed as I turned comments off our TikTok, reported vulgar comments and monitored accounts over the weekend.
For full context, Crawford was talking about her choices as a mother, but this quote applies to many circles in society. Barrel racing is no exception.
If you made a mistake during a run, we support you. Let’s all learn how to manage our emotions together.
If you want to start your horses loping through the pattern on day one or day 15, we have content for you. Let’s figure out what training style fits how you ride.
Regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, background, political or religious beliefs—there’s a place in this industry for you.
Did you just buy your first barrel horse, saddle and trailer? That’s amazing. Welcome to the industry. Let’s help you grow, get the right help and the right equipment so that you can succeed on any platform you want to someday.
Now–we do not condone actual animal abuse in any way, so let’s clear that rumor up. It’s our job at BRM to look out for the horses, as well as the competitors.
It is also our duty to bring you fair coverage of the sport—meaning that sometimes, things don’t look perfect during the run—but just because you don’t agree with the riding style, does not mean it is abuse.
So before you hit the keyboard, remember that although you might not ride like the athlete on the other side, that account handle has a human being behind it with real feelings, and they’ve most likely poured their heart into their horses and their craft, just like you might have.
At Barrel Racing Magazine, we’re undergoing some BIG changes behind the scenes as we aim to include all barrel racers at all levels. It’s our vision that rodeo cowgirls, futurity trainers, ropers who love to go fast, English riding transplants, beginners and the local 4D champion can all come to a safe place in the community to celebrate wins–big, small or only markable in their own mind.
If you see us turning off or deleting comments, please know that it is to protect the sport that we love, and the athletes within it. We strive to keep our social media, website, training platform at BarrelRacing.com and our partnered podcast, The Money Barrel, a safe and healthy space for fans of the sport to grow, and we don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.
So barrel racer, please know that we’re here to support you, even if you starfish a little.
With faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust,
Looking for a little inspiration? Here’s some of our favorite articles to get you motivated.