It doesn’t get more exhilarating than reining! You’ll really hear the crowd hoot and holler at a competition. These horse and rider teams are performing some incredible maneuvers like sliding stops, spins, and loping circles. The sport continues to gain more attention and drawl in new riders! There’s a lot more to it than what meets the eye.
- This sport was developed from everyday ranch horses. They needed to be quick on their feet and response to light aids.
- A horse and rider complete an individual pattern at a performance event. Each one takes about 2.5 to 3 minutes to finish. A panel of judges will score their pattern.
- The judges rate the horse and rider on functional correctness, maneuvers, and attitude. They start with a score of 70 and each maneuver can get them plus or minus points.
- Many reining horses begin training between the ages of 18-24 months. They will go on to compete at 3 years old.
- Reining futurities are for horses 3-4 years old.
- Most trainers work these young horses 6 days a week for 30 minutes, though that can vary.
- The sport is very demanding both physically and mentally. Each horse is put into intense training and carefully monitored for injury.
- Some of the maneuvers include small slow circles, large fast circles, lead changes, roll-backs, spins, and sliding stops.
- A good reining horse has excellent conformation and is athletic. Although Quarter Horses dominate the sport, other breeds like Mustangs, Paint Horses, Arabians, and Morgans have been seen.
- The NRHA puts on tons of shows and events for professional, amateur, and youth riders.
You don’t know what you’re missing. Give reining a try!