A Quick Look at Reining
I am new to the world of reining but volunteered at the Carolina Classic at TIEC last weekend. My first exposure to reining came as a spectator during the Tryon 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. I had no idea what to expect but thoroughly enjoyed watching this sport – even when I didn’t know what or why the competitors were doing what they did. I learned a great deal and wanted to share a little of what I picked up about the sport. The discipline of reining is based on movements horses use when working cattle. The idea is to request quick responses from your horse with as light a hand as possible. Each horse and rider pair completes a specified pattern. Judging analyses their completion of these movements, including “small slow circles, large fast circles, flying changes of lead, roll-backs, quick 360-degree spins, and the ever-exciting sliding stops.”[i]
Reining has grown in popularity over the past decade. According to the US Equestrian Federation who oversees international reining competition in the US, the sport, “experience[ed] a 40% increase in worldwide participation in the last 10 years.” One unique element of this weekend‘s Carolina Classic (Tryon, NC) is that it gave Juniors and Young Riders within USA Reining an opportunity to qualify for international competition. In just a few short months the FEI Reining World Championships for Young Riders and Juniors will be held in Givrins, Switzerland (July 9-13, 2019) and those qualifying (by achieving a minimum average score of 67 at a CRI3* Junior or Young Rider competition during the qualifying period[ii]) have the chance to attend with expenses paid thanks to a partnership between USEF and USA Reining. Keep an eye out for these young competitors and if you are curious about the final results for the Carolina Classic those are available here.