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Starting Barrel Horses by Jessi Mead

Fine Tuning Barrel Horses by Jessi Mead

In Starting Barrel Horses Jessi reveals her unique six week fast-track training regimen for teaching horses the barrel pattern and helping them reach champion-level success. Her method of introducing only one aspect of the barrel pattern at a time allows the horse to master each component individually before stringing them together in a complete barrel run. This process dramatically decreases training time while significantly increasing the accuracy and consistency of every run. Jessi also shares essential knowledge from over three decades of experience training champion barrel horses including:

  • what confirmation and bloodlines to look for to set yourself up for success

  • how to select and fit the right barrel racing bit, saddle, and tack​​​​ to meet both the rider and horse’s individual needs

  • a wide variety of easy to follow drills and instructions—along with detailed diagrams—walking you through the daily training regimen from start-to-finish 

  • and much, much more

This program for starting barrel horses is thorough and informative, but also easy to understand and implement regardless of your current experience. It is a must-read for every horse owner wishing to produce top-level talent.

$34.99 free shipping!   | Retails for $39.99


Fine Tuning Barrel Horses by Jessi Mead

Fine Tuning Barrel Horses by Jessi Mead

Fine Tuning Barrel Horses is for every horse owner wishing to produce a top-level barrel horse. In this all inclusive manual author, champion barrel racer and barrel horse trainer Jessi Mead shares the same training and fine-tuning techniques that she has employed with champion-level success for thirty years. The author’s use of math, physics, and science to explain the precise fundamentals of barrel racing, while providing detailed diagrams showing every step of the training process, makes it easy for anyone to understand and follow. The extensive sections on how to measure the barrel pockets and mark the pocket points and teach proper rate and turn are essential. Her unique use of visual aids for horse and rider enhances the training and learning process, decreases the training time and increases the accuracy and consistency of barrel runs. This is the most thorough and informative barrel horse training manual available today, and a must for everyone involved in barrel racing.

Paperback: 7x10 in.
$18.99 free shipping!   | Retails for $30.00

Click on the book image to
view the index & first chapter!

Also available at these
fine retail stores:

Shiptons Big-R
Sheridan, WY

Shiptons Big-R
Billings, MT

Moss Boots & Saddles
Casper, WY

Buckstich Canvas
Cody, WY

Billings, MT

Pack & Mail
Sheridan, WY

Kings Saddlery & Kings Ropes
Sheridan, WY

R  E  V  I  E  W  S
North West Horse Source Book Review: Fine Tuning Barrel Horses by Jessi Mead offers detailed instructions on how to master barrel horse training...
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SHERIDAN, Wyo. (MMD Newswire) December 21, 2009 -- On the rodeo circuit, barrel racing can be a lucrative sport with the potential for millions of dollars to be earned, notes experienced barrel racer Jessi Mead. Her new book, Fine Tuning Barrel Horses, is a comprehensive, easy-to-read training manual that shows readers how to train and fine-tune a barrel horse, which is a horse who tries to complete a clover leaf pattern around prearranged barrels in the fastest time. As one of the country's top professional barrel racers and trainers, Mead has included numerous diagrams in the book that detail the actual training methods that have earned her over a quarter of a million dollars on barrel horses she has trained.

"Not only does the book explain all of the nuts and bolts of barrel racing, but it also breaks down the barrel pattern to determine the fastest way to complete it," she says. "By using the theory that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, I have calculated and determined the _shortest distance' path through the barrel pattern by using mathematics and geometry. I have also taken into consideration the physical limitations, gravity forces and the demands made on the horses' body and muscles to achieve the necessary positioning to follow the _shortest distance' path and I show the readers how it applies to barrel racing and a successful run."

Additionally, Fine Tuning Barrel Horses strives to teach the reader the necessary skills and exercises to train his or her horse to follow the "shortest distance" path, as well as being able to compete with the best in the business. In an effort to illustrate the training process, Mead offers a step-by-step format to make it easy for the reader to learn how to successfully train his or her own barrel horse.

Fine Tuning Barrel Horses is available for sale online at and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.

About the Author
Jessi Mead owns and runs a ranch in Wyoming, home of her registered quarter horse breeding program. Now with three decades of experience training more than 200 horses and producing champions, Mead is one of the country's top professional barrel racers and trainers. Her most recent accomplishments include the Barrel Racing Championship title at the 2009 Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association rodeo in Douglas, Wyo., and finishing in the top 15 of the Women's Professional Rodeo Associations 2009 barrel racing year-end standings for the Mountain States Circuit.

December 21, 2009

Kelly Kaminski
Two time world champion and two time reserve world champion.
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This is a complete guide for anyone just getting into barrel racing, anyone wanting to brush up on technique, or someone wanting to learn a different perspective on a technique; Jessi has really put her heart into making sure that the reader will understand how she trains with detailed explanations along with pictures.

MaryAnna Clemons
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Dynamite does come in small packages and Jessi Mead is no exception. Her book, “Fine Tuning Barrel Horses” is 123 pages of great information. While I wasn’t able to keep up with all the geometry she throws in there, I was able to visually understand exactly what she meant.

Mead, at just 5’5” and 130 pounds, is also a small package and ended her 2009 season 15th in the standings for the WPRA Mountain States Circuit and won the Douglas, Wyo., 2009 championship title. She has more than 30 years of training barrel horses and many other wins to her name ( Mead has written a book that breaks down her methods, step-by-step-by-step. Seriously, if you come away from this book and you don’t know how she trains a horse, you weren’t reading it! As many horse-people already know, there is always more than one way to train a horse, and if you are looking to train your own, this is a great book. She literally takes you from start to finish in her book and covers a ton of ground in a limited amount of pages.

The book is very professionally laid out and has great photos and diagrams, a great glossy cover and good writing. Balance and riding posture are two of the first things that Mead hits on and she is very clear in her writing and backs up that writing with illustrations and photos. You cannot help but understand what she is talking about and that’s a great thing in a book. Getting your balance in line with the horse is just one aspect of teaching a horse the pattern and she moves on to “common misconceptions and mistakes.” One mistake that she points out that almost anyone can agree with is not to whip your horse repeatedly. Instead, she says, to give your horse the chance to respond to your command before you do it again, if you need to at all. Another “mistake” that she lists is the ubiquitous advice to “look at the next barrel.” And Mead is not the only trainer out there to explain that looking at the next barrel really accomplishes nothing other than throwing your horse’s balance off kilter.

Mead moves on to the actual barrel pattern and breaks it down with numbers. A standard pattern, according to AQHA rules, is 495 feet and in those 495 feet a horse has to run the pattern in 17.0 flat, “making ever three feet that your horse runs worth about one-tenth of a second. . .” Clearly every tenth of a second counts. And with the number of talented trainers and riders out there, understanding exactly how every step affects your time is crucial to getting better and faster. She moves on to the barrel pocket and tells you how to adjust your pocket for the size of your horse, how to measure the pockets and how to mark the pockets. Moving on she covers the four points in each barrel pocket and talks about checking and rating your horse based on the horse’s personality (chargy/run or rated/push style). Moving into the actual training of the horse on the pattern she again provides excellent visuals for even the most greenhorn racers to follow.

This book isn’t just for a trainer to train with but for a newer racer who needs to see the visuals in more than one way to learn how and when and why. I could also see this being very handy for a trainer who gives lessons and wants to break down the pattern for the newbie. Mead goes on to talk about collection and controlled speed, leg commands, flying lead changes (she prefers to teach all her barrel horses the pole pattern to make flying lead changes more fun and interesting for them) and she has several exercises in the book for teaching rate and turns. Mead even goes so far as to explain and illustrate “reading your tracks” so that the reader can determine just where a horse is going wrong.

The book closes with a chapter on the actual competition and tips on how to get it done. There are no wasted words in her book. You will not be reading about breeding the barrel horse or her long list of where she has been and how she got to where she is, and by all accounts, she’s not a world champion. But there are a lot more effective trainers than there are world champions in the world and what she has to say is said very well and explained in-depth. The book has something for every level of rider, but if you’re new to barrel racing I very much think this book will help you get better and faster in less time. It’s a great book to add to your collection (or even to start your collection).

Crystal Damico
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My name is Crystal Damico and I was lucky enough to stumble upon your book over the winter. I received an gift card for Christmas and entered 'barrel racing' on the site's search and your book was the only one I did not have, in fact had never seen that came up. It is just what I needed. I was a 4d rider in 2008. Last year I improved into the 2d. I was getting frustrated because I was running in the 2d with mistakes through the entire run on both of my horses. I could find improvements literally through the entire run. I have a huge barrel racing media library so I was skeptical when I started reading your book. I have "heard it all" so to speak and was thinking that I just don’t have what it takes. I am almost 26 years old and I have been to several clinics through out my life and have taken a few barrel racing lessons through out the years, but no formal training. I was taken to my first rodeo by a family friend when I was 12 and from that moment I knew what I wanted to do. So my horses and barrel racing is very emotional for me.

I started practicing your barrel racing techniques over the winter. Your book, the way you describe how and where to check/rate and why to check/rate and the difference between the two was like a light got turned on in my brain and I GOT IT! Being two handed and checking with two hands till your turn point, allowing your horse to be squared up going into the turn by holding your outside rein, and allowing him to be in 4 wheel drive, how to sit and position your self all made sense, all of it. I have not made a competition run yet this year, I start my season this May but I can tell after 8 weeks of riding my horses the way your book tells and making practice runs they are faster, smoother and my horses have more power, are more balanced and more confident in what we are doing. I can’t wait to put it to test on a real clock! My gelding Promise would rate himself WAY to soon, slice my pocket and crossfire on the back side of the barrel.

Before reading your book I got a bit with more lift and lifted sooner and one handed and checked one handed and made him bend and give me his nose going into my pocket (which was way to big). I think its embarrassing and comical now that I did that. When I checked him two handed a little past where you would check a normal/ natural horse, he rated and since I did it where I was supposed to I didn’t have to lift up or move my hand over at all since the next jump I was at my turn point! Before I would lift up and then move my hand over to turn which I know now is all wrong, just making matters worse. I need to shave off .5 a second to be in the 1D and I can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are no other gals that run like you do, especially around here and my barrel racing friends think I am ridiculous when I tell them about your book, I say "Jessi's book says this and that" and they just roll their eyes. I hope they get stuck that way when I perform better in the competition arena ;-) Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a insightful book!

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