FEI Equestrian Sports

Reining

Imagine a horse moving at its top speed (like 3.9 metres per second) in circles right at the edge of a racing arena. Certainly, you will get your adrenaline rushing. This form of sport is known as reining. Reining is a western style of horse riding in which the rider applies skills to execute the horse through a difficult pattern. It is a unique sport as the rider and the trainer are one. In other equestrian sports, the rider and the trainer are regarded as two different individuals. Reining requires proper communication between the rider and the horse.

In reining, each rider is awarded an average score of 70 points before the start of the ride. The rider receives a minus or a plus for each maneuver completed in a pattern. The rider can also fail to receive any score for failing to observe the rules of the sport. In total, the horse is required to complete eight to 12 movements, including flying lead changes, circles, rundowns, sliding stops, spins, rollbacks, backups, and pauses.

To win the ride, the judge will consider the willingness of the horse to be guided with as little resistance as possible. Credit is awarded for elements such as quickness, attitude, finesse, and smoothness. Nonetheless, you will see spectators cheering horses with the fastest spins and longest stops. Even though any horse can perform reining, stock horse breeds tend to be the most preferred choice for many riders, due to their exceptional ability to be responsive, fast, and alert.