In the reining event, a rider guides his horse through a pattern of circles, spins and stops. Reining is ALL about communicating with your horse. When reining is done right, the horse reacts perfectly to your commands. Just like when your parents ask you to clean your room and you react perfectly to their commands. LOL!

Here are some of the patterns used in reining:

Circles: the horse must ride in large fast circles and small slow circles. The circles should be perfectly round and demonstrate complete control and partnership between horse and rider. Because that’s the way circles like to be.

Rundown: the horse lopes or runs along the long side of the arena, at least 20 feet from the fence or rail. Horses love running, so this is fun for everybody.

Sliding Stop: the horse lopes or runs and then suddenly comes to a complete halt. The faster the horse is going, the further he will slide. A sliding stop is always a big hit at a horse show!

Backup: the horse backs up quickly for at least 10 feet. The horse is judged on how quick, smooth and straight the line is. And if you think that sounds easy, try doing it… yourself, without a horse!

Spins: from a stopped position, the horse spins in a complete circle! The faster the horse spins, the better. It’s like a merry-go-round… with a real horse!