Ed Henle – Part 3 – In the Arena

Henle’s abilities as a rider have brought him big checks at barrel races across the region. With two placings at the AQHA Congress under his belt, getting to know his approaches and methods to riding and training could help every level of barrel racer. 

How long do you usually wait before running a young horse?

– I like for them to be at least three before I do any kind of running around the barrels, but I do have a two-year-old right now that is loping the pattern. But I’ll probably wait another six months or so before I started asking him for a little speed.

What rules do you follow when working with a young horse? Where’s your limit?

– I’ve found that you really have to be careful when you’re getting after a young horse.  If they make a mistake, instead of beating its ass it’s better to let them make mistakes and then show them what your asking of them.  Some horses can take a little discipline, but I have come across some that get worse.

How is your patience with young horses?

– I would say I’m pretty patient with the young ones, at times you really have no choice so you just have to look at the big picture and not what is happening at that moment.

What are you thinking when you head through the gate towards the first barrel?

– To be honest, everything that happens in the arena is a reaction.  I’m not really sure anything is going through my head.

How do your horses approach a barrel? (With a big pocket, straight at it…etc?)

– Gunner runs pretty straight, but I do give him an average pocket. The app mare doesn’t run quite as straight as gunner, but my pockets are about the same on both.

How often do you exhibition?

– Never on the good horse.  When I started taking the colt to shows, I would take her through exhibition maybe two times, but now I do not exhibition her at all.  The majority of people in exhibition are in there because they as a rider need the practice, not the horse.  It’s crazy when you see the same people running their horse to death in exhibition.

What sort of set up do you have at home to practice?

– I have a big outdoor arena where I do most of the riding.  I have the barrels set up but I only ever work the young ones on barrels at home.

Any arena records?

-Buckhorn. 14.408

Do you train other people’s horses?

– Yes. Most of the people send their horse to me to be broke.  I also get people wanting their horse on the pattern but unless the horse is athletic I won’t take it because I don’t like to waste my time with colts that do not have the athletic ability to do it competitively. I usually only take in two at a time, but I have a waiting list a mile long.

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