What is Reining?
REINING HISTORY ("National Reined Cow Horse Association - NRCHA")
"The reining horse came from the history of the cowboy's ranch horse. The origins of the horse go back to the Spanish settlers in Mexico and the Southwestern US. A good cow hand always needed a horse that could stop and turn on a dime , or sprint forward within a split second. Throughout the history of America's West, including Mexico, horses with this skill have always been not only prized, but essential. Working on open range land with no pens or buildings, cattle needed to be handled. Always held in high esteem were the horses that could be steered and would respond to a flip of the fingers on a loose rein. The cowboys needed a nice, flexible, quick cattle horse that should be easily controlled by a light rein with small cues. They also wanted the horse to have a burst of energy when stopping and starting. A good reining horse backed then stopped quickly, and could slide across the ground 20 to 30 feet. The horse should turn around with speed compared to other horses. The horses were referred to as stock horses, rather than Reiners."
"During a good reining run, the cues to the horse are invisible to a spectator. The early reining contests had a thread tied between the bit and the reins. The objective was to see whose horse could perform without breaking the thread. "
WHAT IS REINING? ("National Reining Horse Association - NRHA")
"Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena. In NRHA competition, contestants are required to run one of the twelve approved patterns included in the NRHA Handbook. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse.
The NRHA Judging System is recognized as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of "degree of difficulty". Many segments of the equine judging discipline have openly embraced the NRHA Judging System."
The NRHA handbook describes the reining horse as follows: “To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control…”.
("American Quarter Horse Association - AQHA)") "Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse in the confines of a show arena. In reining competition, contestants are required to run one of several approved patterns. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, rollbacks over the hocks, a series of 360 degree spins done in place, and the exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse. To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. Any movement on his own must be considered a lack of control. Any one of the twelve AQHA-approved reining patterns may be used and is to be selected by the judge of the class and used by all contestants in the class. Each contestant will perform the required pattern individually and separately. All horses will be judged immediately upon entering the arena. Any fault incurred prior to the commencement of a pattern will be scored accordingly. All deviations from the exact written pattern must be considered a lack of or temporary loss of control, and therefore faulted according to severity of deviation. Credit will be given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority in performing the various maneuvers while using controlled speed. "
NRHA PREMIER EVENTS
The NRHA Futurity - NRHAFuturity.com - NRHAFuturity.com
Three-year-old horses ridden for first place prize money of $150,000 with a total purse and prizes totaling nearly $2.3 Million to exhibitors! Nearly 3,000 entries competing in all classes, three special reining horse sales, an intercollegiate judging contest, and approximately 125,000 spectators from more than 20 countries... NRHA's finest million dollar event is held in late fall in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The NRHA Derby - NRHADerby.com - NRHADerby.com
Four, five and six-year-old horses competing for more than $600,000 in purse money. Held in the late spring/early summer in Oklahoma City, the Derby hosts the Collegiate Reining Championships and Interscholastic Equestrian Association Reining Championships, and so much more.
COMPETITIVE LEVELS FOR ALL
In addition to these two premier events, there are multiple divisions of competition offered at approved shows to enable competitors at all levels to participate, learn, and improve as they master the intricacies of one of the most exciting equine competition events. NRHA offers the following approved Divisions in competition:
In addition to the various Divisions of competition listed above, NRHA offers a number of different Categories of competition that separate specific types of events, horse ages, and special programs offered by the Association.
COMPETITION PATTERN EXAMPLE