How to Add Speed to Drills off the Barrel Pattern with Justin Briggs

Justin Briggs shares the importance of speed transitions and adding intensity to drills off the barrel racing pattern
Justin Briggs riding barrel horses

Justin Briggs emphasizes the importance of adding speed and intensity to barrel racing drills and how to make sure your horse stays soft through every transition. He discusses how to make speed transitions smooth and how to train each step into your horses.

“You should be able to lope your horses around the arena at three-quarter speed, gather them up, do transitions, whatever. Just add intensity to your program—that is a big deal to me. That way, they don’t get as worried when you do take them to town.”

Justin Briggs

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add speed to barrel racing horses with Justin Briggs

About Justin Briggs

Originally from Fort Pierce, Florida, east of Okeechobee, Briggs moved to Stephenville in 1998. Horsemanship has always been a part of Briggs’ life. He got his start with horses from his grandma, who trained hunter jumpers and dressage horses, while his mom rode cutting horses. Briggs started off in the cutting, started roping in the fifth grade and went on to have a successful roping career in college both heading and heeling. He married World Champion barrel racer Jordon Briggs in 2010, and the couple settled in Tolar, Texas, in 2021. Their business, Briggs Performance Horses, focuses mainly on producing top barrel horses, barrel horse prospects and rope horses. 

In his colt starting masterclass on, Briggs gives you the information you need to start and bring along your top barrel horse prospect. He uses a thoughtful, well-rounded approach with a focus on quality over quantity. 

“We raise two or three a year on our own, and buy some long yearlings. I start all of our colts,” says Briggs. “I put about 120 days on them, then when they’re safe and ride pretty well, Jordon (Briggs) starts putting a barrel pattern on them and I start roping a sled or lead steer on them. Jordon trains everything on the poles, too. Jordon and I run our business top to bottom. We’re not an assembly line.”