Barrel of fun for Emerald's Leanne Caban on Chinese tour
EMERALD barrel racer Leanne Caban has received a great honour, being sent over to China's Shandong province to tutor locals in the sport.
"They must've asked if there was anyone in Australia who could come and work with them," Caban said.
"I was recommended. It was great to get that recognition.
"We love to show how we do things here in Australia."
Caban worked hard with the novice barrel racers, passing on her vast knowledge and experience.
"They were fairly new to it," she said.
"A couple had only been doing it for four to six months.
"They didn't really have a good horsemanship base.
"I just went right back to the horsemanship."
She said they eagerly took on board everything she had to teach them.
"They were all very keen to learn," she said. "They spent a lot of time analysing it.
"They took lots of notes.
"They were very keen students."
Caban hopes she managed to contribute to the growth of barrel racing in China.
"We really did achieve a lot in a month," she said.
"I made a program up and left it with them, and left notes.
"They took video footage of me riding. Hopefully they can use that information to become better riders.
"If they have problems they can contact me."
She said some of them were already experienced with horses.
"They've got some good riders," she said.
"They were going well.
"I'm sure that they'll go ahead even further now.
"They've definitely got the potential, they ride very well.
"They're capable horse people.
"I was just giving them more extensive horsemanship knowledge."
And she said they were wonderful people to work with, even with the language barrier.
"It was a little challenging," she said.
"But not as challenging as I'd expected it to be," she said.
"I had an interpreter. They are really nice people, they looked after me really, really well."
Caban said barrel racing in China was very different to here.
"It compares to our divisional barrel racing over here," she said.
"Men and women can both barrel race.
"They do it as a team.
"Ours over here is an individual competition.
"They might get four runs in one day, so it's quite a lot of work for those horses.
"Here they'd only do one run a day.
She said the Chinese had been smart with the horses they brought in.
"They bought some really good horses from America and Canada, some well-trained horses," she said.
"They've done the right thing there.
Caban said the wonderful experience was something she had never expected: "I didn't even know that they barrel raced."