In the western competition of Reining, the rider guides the horse through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. All work is done at the lope or the gallop and the competition is designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena. Originating from working cattle, reining requires a lot of skill and the horse to be responsive and in tune with its rider, whose aids should not be easily seen.
Western horsemanship judges on the correctness of the rider’s seat, hands and feet, the finesse in riding, and the strength of his or her lines and angles as the competitor rides a series of manoeuvres in a 30- to 60-second pattern. The pattern may include a variety of different elements of western pleasure, reining, western riding and trail classes. There’s always a stop and a back and judges can ask for circles, spins, quarter-turns, half-turns, turn-and-a-half, any combination of turning on the haunches or forehand and side passing as well as a variety of gaits.
Founder Eitan Beth-Halachmy : “Cowboy Dressage®, as the name implies, is a combination of the best of both worlds: Traditional western and classical horsemanship. Each discipline of horsemanship is time honored and recognized on it’s own. When you combine the philosophy and practice of each and add music, you create art. Art is what Cowboy Dressage is all about: a medium of self-expression through the freedom of pure horsemanship.”
The purpose of the Ranch Horse Pleasure class is to reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse. The horse’s performance should be indicative of a working horse riding outside on the ranch/trail. The horse should work at a forward, working speed while remaining under control at all times. This is not a timed event, and excessive speed will be penalized. Horses exhibited with light contact on the reins should be rewarded; loose or full drape of rein is not necessary. Overall manners, responsiveness of the horse while performing and the horse’s quality of movement are the primary consideration.
WESTERN TRAIL – COMING SOON!
ABOUT WESTERN TRAIL
Western Trail is a class where horses and riders in western-style attire and horse tack navigate a pattern of obstacles. The original idea was to resemble situations a horse and rider may encounter when on a trail in a natural habitat, however modern trail classes now tend to focus more heavily on agility and manners, with courses bearing very little resemblance to real-world natural trails.
To compete in this Equi-Show class you may be required to have the following type obstacles; poles, rails or logs, a gate (you can use 2 jumping poles and a rope if need be!), maybe even a vinyl raincoat! 😉 Additional obstacles or tests may include walking over a plastic tarp or through water; having the horse ground-tie (remain standing in one spot while the rider walks away); to walk, trot or lope in very tight quarters, such as traveling through a series of cones or markers in a serpentine pattern; or take a small jump (usually under 18 inches, as riders are in western saddles and cannot easily get off the horse’s back into a jumping position).
Please see your test of choice to see what obstacles you will need. Enjoy!