Reining horses are a special group. They possess incredible talent and athletic skill. Think your horse was meant to be a reiner? Here are 6 signs that you might be right.
1. Your Horse Is Fast
Speed is key for reining horses – your horse needs to be fast and strong enough to build up the speed for a long sliding stop. He needs to be able to show his versatility and the speed that would make him a valuable asset on the farm. If your horse has natural speed, he’s conquered the first hurdle to becoming a great reiner.
2. Your Horse Can Turn on a Dime
Reining horses need to be agile, with the ability to turn on a dime. These horses have excellent control of their bodies, and their balance allows them to perform sliding stops, rollbacks, and spins without losing control.
3. Your Horse Loves to Work
A horse who loves to work will have a good shot at becoming a decent reining horse. Developing a reining horse takes lots of training and years of practice. If your horse has a natural penchant for working and training, then he might have a shot at becoming a great reiner.
4. Your Horse Is Super Responsive
Great reining horses are incredibly responsive to their riders’ cues. To be successful as a reiner, a horse needs to be alert and aware of his rider. He needs to be light and responsive to the aides – you can’t be hauling on the reins or visibly kicking the horse to get him going. Reining is an art where the cues should be hardly noticeable. If you’re starting off with a responsive horse, then your job in developing that horse will be easier.
5. Your Horse Is Athletic
Above all else, reining horses are incredibly athletic. A reiner must have the endurance to perform an entire reining routine without tiring. He also needs to have the athleticism to perform moves such as rollbacks and spins. Your horse needs to be able to carry himself through flying changes and sliding stops. These are athletic demands that not every horse can accomplish.
6. Your Horse Has Heart
A good reining horse is not only skilled, he loves his job. When you step into the show ring you can’t beat riding a horse with a great heart. That heart shows in an extra burst of speed, a tighter spin, and a more powerful stride, and all of these factors make a big difference when you’re looking at the quality of a reining horse.