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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!

Professional’s Choice has teamed up with professional barrel racer and NFR champion Brittany Pozzi on a collection of bits called The Brittany Pozzi Collection. The bit collection, which will be released Oct. 1, is comprised of four classic bits, including an O-Ring Twisted Wire Snaffle, a Hackamore, Combinations and Lifters, with a selection of mouthpieces.

Dena Kirkpatrick

Dena KirkpatrickDena Kirkpatrick uses a Loomis gag bit to soften her horse’s face and body around a barrel turn. BHN file photo.This simple yet effective bit is a barrel-racer favorite for training, tuning and competing, but almost everyone uses it for a different reason.

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Maintain Body Position and Stability with the Crown C Cervi Barrel Racer Saddle
The Crown C Gives Barrel Racers a Competitive Advantage

Champion barrel racer Sherry Cervi teams up with Martin Saddlery to design the new Crown C Cervi Barrel Racer.

The Crown C’s specific design helps barrel racers maintain proper body position and stability during a run. It employs attributes that aid barrel racers in absorbing those quick, jarring movements common with today’s faster, more athletic barrel horses.