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Reining [ ˈɹɛɪnɪŋ ] (from English purely ' rein ') is a discipline in western riding that has its origins in working with cattle. This work requires a particularly agile, athletic and obedient horse - these qualities are demonstrated in the reining test. In this discipline ridden exclusively at a gallop , a prescribed pattern (task) is required of horse and rider . A pattern is a sequence of several maneuvers.

Elements / maneuvers of the reining pattern


In every reining task, there are two large, fast canter circles and a small, slow canter circle, on each hand (i.e. left and right around), in a different order depending on the pattern. The difference in speed and size should be clear, the aids should only be given via the seat and, under certain circumstances, with the help of the voice, without any recognizable rein effect. This change in speed is called speed control . The circles should be round and each go through the center of the arena.



The spins are one or more, usually four 360 ° rotations on the hindquarters. Here, the horse shifts its weight to the inner hind leg, which should form the axis of rotation and ideally should not step with it during the rotation, but should stand still on the ground. The outer hind leg must be carried along in the rotation. In the turn, the outer front leg should cross over the inner front leg. The forehand makes a running movement, the hindquarters stay in place. In addition, the horse should turn as quickly as possible.

Sliding stop

Sliding stop

Probably the most striking maneuver in a reining pattern is the sliding stop . Here the horse stops from a gallop in such a way that it slides with its hindquarters on the ground while its forelegs continue to run to a standstill. This stop should take place without the influence of the reins if possible. You can only slide with a suitable floor and with special fittings, the so-called sliding plates. These are horseshoes that are usually one inch wide and attached to the rear hooves, thanks to their very smooth surface compared to normal horseshoes, which enable them to slide (see horseshoes ).

Flying gallop change

(See equestrian gait ) In the reining pattern, the canter change takes place when a figure eight is ridden. The change of canter should take place exactly at the intersection of the eight. Like all other maneuvers, the change should also be carried out with as invisible aids as possible. The horse should alternate flat and with fore and hindquarters at the same time.

Roll back

The roll back is a 180 ° turn of the horse on the hindquarters. The rider gallops, stops, makes a jumping hindquarters turn (the 180 ° turn around the hindquarters) from the stopping movement (without standing still after the stop ) and gallops on again on the other hand. The whole thing is so fast and fluid that the transitions are barely visible. Ideally, the horse should gallop back in its own previously left tracks.

Back Up - pointing backwards

The reverse direction is part of all patterns. The rider should kick the horse straight back with little rein force. Here, too, a fairly high speed is welcome. The croup sinks extremely and the horse takes a lot of weight on the hindquarters. So that the horses cannot stand on their own tail during training, it is often woven in during training.



For the equipment of the horses there are almost identical guidelines as for the other western disciplines . An exception are the boots ( gaiters ), which are permitted in reining tests in order to prevent the legs from knocking in the turning movements. The permitted equipment can vary depending on the association, so the rider should carefully study the rules of the respective association before starting a tournament.

The requirements for the rider's equipment are identical to those of the other disciplines (long-sleeved shirt, long trousers and hat).


The pattern will be announced to the riders shortly before the tournament . There are ten to eleven tasks written down in the rule books of the individual associations. All the prescribed maneuvers occur in each of the patterns, but in different sequences. The exercise must be ridden by heart and any deviation from the prescribed form ("off pattern") results in a zero score.

According to the rules of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), every rider / horse pairing starts with a score of 70 points. Each pattern consists of seven or eight individual maneuvers. For the execution of the individual maneuvers of the pattern, points between +1 1/2 and −1 1/2 are awarded according to a standardized alignment system. In addition, fixed penalty points ("penalties") are awarded. So-called major penalties are punished with a five-point deduction if the horse kicks, buckes or humps. The addition of these values ​​gives the final result, the score.

At the end of each test, the judge must be shown the bit to ensure that only permitted bits were presented in the correct riding style - one or two hands. The judge can also check the gaiters (boots) for sharp objects that cause the horse to run faster and he has to check whether the horse has been injured. A deviation from the regulations or an injury leads to disqualification ("no score").

Freestyle reining

The Freestyle Reining is particularly popular in the USA and a crowd puller. It is up to the rider who or what he wants to interpret. He has to choose a suitable music and acquire his own pattern. The Freestyle Reining can be compared to the freestyle in dressage. In contrast to the dressage freestyle, the interpretation of the chosen topic is often freer and looser, so it is not uncommon to wear a suitable costume. Freestyle reins that are ridden without a saddle or bridle are also allowed. Maneuvers coordinated with the music and perfectly executed from the range of prescribed maneuvers must be performed in the freestyle, which is up to four minutes long.

Web links

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