Cowgirl - Reining
Cowgirl - ReiningPC: Edward Dalmulder

Reining is an exciting sport that requires a willing horse and determined rider. During a show, the team performs a pattern that includes a series of movements.

The horse must be responsive and the aids of the rider nearly invisible. A judge watches on to score each execution.

Beginners and experienced riders alike can enjoy the sport of reining. The movements will be tailored to the riders’ and horses’ experience level, but you might expect to see the following in a pattern.

  1. Rollback – After a sliding stop and halt, the horse performs a 180 turn on his hind legs and goes forward into a lope. The movement should be continuous and the hind legs underneath the horse as he turns.
  2. Circles – Perfectly round circles are executed at a full gallop and slow lope to show the transition of speed.
  3. Back up – The horse backs in a straight line for at least 10 feet. The movement should be smooth and without hesitation.
  4. Sliding stop – At a full gallop, the horse suddenly comes to a complete halt. The hind legs slide underneath his body and the front legs walk forward. The horse should be in a straight line. Often, dust and dirt will fly up as the movement is performed.
  5. Spins – From a halt, the horse performs a 360 by planting one hind foot and spinning around for 4 and 1 quarter turns. The movement should be done in both directions. Depending on the experience level, the speed may be quick or slow.

Next time you see a reining show, use the opportunity to watch each movement and how they are performed. These are just a handful of them, but you’re likely to see many more!