Can a Barrel Horse Have Too Much Bend?

Jordon Briggs troubleshoots an overly bendy horse.
As part of a clinic—available to watch on Ride TV—Jordon Briggs coached participants on how to achieve straight, balanced turns.

Can a barrel horse have TOO much bend? Yes! When a horse is overly bent around the barrel instead of framed up, they’re likely diving in with their shoulders and swinging out their hip, which can lead to unbalanced turns, tipped barrels and lost time. Jordon Briggs shares her tips for troubleshooting an overly bendy horse.  

Watch the complete step-by-step video on Ride TV.

Watch the complete step-by-step video on Ride TV.

1. Don’t rely on your inside rein; turn with your outside rein

Watch the full training video.

“I feel him kind of lean into the barrel so I’m going to overexaggerate riding in a straight line. I feel like I have good forward motion, but I don’t think he knows how to turn with the outside shoulder. I want him a little more square and crossing that outside shoulder over.”

2. Don’t finish your turn at the halfway point

Watch the full training video.

“A lot of times we get in the habit of thinking about getting to the next barrel once we realize we’re not going to hit the barrel we’re going into. But this is where we need to go forward and give our horse that room to be snappy and have a really clean finish. I see a lot of people turn at the half-barrel point but we need to turn at the three-quarter point.

3. Pretend you’re a team roper

Watch the full training video.

“I want you to pretend like you’re team roper on the backside. Inside, forward, come across. Inside, forward, team roper, neck rein.”


Learn from world champion barrel racer Jordon Briggs as she shares her expertise on a range of topics for success in the arena. Her extensive Ride TV instructional videos cover tuning barrel horses, working with young horses, competition prep and more. Watch her full training library here.