The art of Reining is the newest development in the world of Olympic disciplines. Reining horses may be of any age, breed and color. Competitors run one of a proscribed group of patterns, which integrate required movements.. These movements include rollbacks, flying changes, 360 degree spins, done in place, large and small circles, and of course the dramatic and exciting sliding stops. The freestyle competition, in which specified movements are incorporated into a performance which is set to music, is a huge crowd pleaser. Horses are scored on a point basis, from zero to infinity- with 70 being and average score. The competitors are evaluated for attitude, fitness, quickness, smoothness and authority, as they work through their patterns.
Judges may choose to fault a movement with a deduction of ½ to 1 point on each of the maneuvers. The American Quarter Horse has taken the sport as its own, with few other breeds matching the Quarter horses’ natural talent for the discipline. While many American Saddlebreds have made great ranch horses, some having a good bit of “cow” on them (the ability to read a cow, and direct it), we’ll have to wait and see if an American Saddlebred can rise to the top of this field.