This sport requires a cutting horse which is an athletic and willing animal trained to instinctively keep a cow from returning to the herd. In the actual competition, the horse and rider select and separate a cow out of a small group. The cow then tries to return to the herd; the rider loosens the reins and leaves it entirely up to the horse to keep the cow separated.
Indoor and Outdoor arenas. Slightly deep ground is preferred.
Breakover points and heel support are generally important for most barrel horses. Having enough sole depth and a shorter toes in front and behind tend to be better for not straining tendons and ligaments.