reining cowgirl magazine
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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.

Reining Facts

  1. This sport was developed from everyday ranch horses. They needed to be quick on their feet and response to light aids.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Many reining horses begin training between the ages of 18-24 months. They will go on to compete at 3 years old.
  5. Reining futurities are for horses 3-4 years old.
  6. Most trainers work these young horses 6 days a week for 30 minutes, though that can vary.
  7. The sport is very demanding both physically and mentally. Each horse is put into intense training and carefully monitored for injury.
  8. Some of the maneuvers include small slow circles, large fast circles, lead changes, roll-backs, spins, and sliding stops.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!