Training future stars
AUSTRALIAN barrel racing representative Louise Louden may not have been able to take on the world's best barrel racers in America last year, but she's not been out of the saddle.
The barrel racing specialist represented the nation as part of the Australian Ladies Barrel Team at the world championships in America in 2011 and qualified again for 2012.
She was unable to take up her position and attend the event again in 2012, however she's been hard at work training up a new generation of barrel racing horses.
Of late, the Aussie representative has been in the saddle with barrel racing mare Zena, in order to introduce her foal Ruby to the sport.
Louden has a talent for training barrel racing stars, having trained Zena as well.
She also made a competitive success out of mare Gay Bar Poco Lena, or Jess for short, which is likely to take a well-deserved break once Zena is back in action having reared her foal.
The well-trained Jess has score three registration of merit plus a Quarter Horse Association Superior Horse Award among other honours. Louden's mother Jenny Miller said her modest daughter trains her horses from "scratch".
"Both of these mares had only done basic performance before Lou purchased them."
"To train a barrel horse, it needs good initial grounding... a lot of patience and is usually a five-year project," Miller said.