Tack & Equipment


Dena Kirkpatrick believes in keeping her training methods simple and she employs the same philosophy when selecting the bits best suited to different stages of barrel horse training.
   “I get a lot of questions about what kinds of bits I use and it doesn’t take me long to explain because I keep things simple,” says Kirkpatrick. “I have a few bits that are my favorites and I stick with them.”

In barrel racing, there are a few key components—a horse, boots, jeans, tack and a saddle. The most important requirement would, obviously, be your horse, but I believe the second is your saddle. Everyone knows what a saddle is, but did you know that the saddle can sometimes make a huge difference in the way your horse runs, and even how you ride?

1 bo hill barn photo

In the May 2012 issue of Barrel Horse News, Bridget Cook’s article shares some of the industry’s top trainers’ favorite pieces of tack. I was asked by our editor Bonnie Wheatley to take some pictures of Bo Hill’s favorite bits for the article. She told me if I didn’t have time to get Creedence or Stephanie of Pixel Works to do it. Like, I was going to turn down a chance at digging through Bo Hill’s bit collection? Yeah right, I was gung ho for this assignment!