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Pierce County youths enjoy barrel racing training
June 11, 2018

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Steve and Kindra Guty hosted a barrel racing competition training on May 31 and June 1 at their farm east of Rugby. The clinic training consisted of two days with local children and their horses, and was presented by trainers Shelly Effertz and Barb Waagen from Bottineau.

"Training the kids and the horses they ride is an important thing," said Steve Guty. "Learning safety, and techniques takes a lot of patience, and time commitment to learning to do this sport of barrel racing." Guty's wife Kindra is an experienced barrel racer, and his children are involved in

the sport and participate in rodeo activities.

Both boys and girls took part in the fun and exciting training, although movements for training were quite slow and deliberate. The intention was to train the horse, learn the feel of their horse, and train on specific responses to the gentle touch on the reins. When asked, one rider Cami said, "It really is a lot of work and I am sore from yesterday."

Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around preset barrels in the fastest time. Boys and girls compete at a youth level. There are many clinics throughout North Dakota, and in central North Dakota specifically. Girls and boys compete, and train. "Its a great summer time fun for the kids, and it keeps them fit, and their horses exercised," Guty said.

Barrel racing combines the horse's athletic skills and the skills of the rider in order to safely maneuver the horse in a pattern around three barrels. This pattern is usually placed in a triangle, with the horses being steered through the barrels using tight turns and finishing a run from the center barrel back to the starting point. The one with the fastest time while not knocking over any barrels wins.

If you want to see live horse action, there will be Barrel Racing taking place on June 15 at the Bottineau County Fair starting at 10 a.m.

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