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Western Reining - the proud western horseback riding discipline

Published: 2021-08-02 10:41:56 Categories: Sport Rss feed


A growing number of riders in Poland are becoming interested in western riding. What do you need to know about reining, a discipline that is considered to be the most significant for this style of riding? Western riders are recognizable to everyone, even those less familiar with the sport. Their distinctive clothing - especially the fringed leather chaps and hats - strikes right away. A deep, comfortable saddle with high cantle and wide stirrups allows for a stable seat, so important for beginners, and riding on a loose rein has a positive effect on the learning process and prevents getting "hung up" on the reins. Western riding can be a great alternative to the classical riding school. Experienced riders can also benefit from such a modification - it is a perfect way to test yourself in slightly different conditions and gain new experience, which will certainly positively affect the bond with your horse. Who knows - maybe you will find western riding to be the best choice for you and will start to practice reining? But what exactly is western reining and what do you need to know about it?


1. What is typical of western style riding?

This style of riding emerged from the everyday needs of the inhabitants of the American continent - those working on ranches and at drovings needed calm, obedient horses, which could be ridden by one hand or only by means of the seat. The all-day hard work called for a perfect communication between the horse and the rider, comfortable equipment and intelligent, calm and strong horses. Various competitions of western style riding are related to the functional use of horses at work. The most popular disciplines are:

  • barrel racing
  • pole bending
  • trail class
  • cutting
  • western pleasure
  • reining


2. What is reining?

Reining is the most recognizable discipline in western riding and the flagship event that perfectly displays the most important skills of a western horse and its relationship with the rider. The American Quarter Horse Association recognized reining as a separate riding discipline back in 1949. Called western dressage, this competition is all about the best performance following a particular pattern (i.e. a reining pattern). Each pattern consists of the same elements, arranged in a different order. These include:

  • spin — fast spins on the rear inner hoof and stopping at a predetermined moment
  • rundown — a gallop along the long side of the dressage arena
  • sliding stop — stopping with a long skid and leaning in the hindquarters
  • backup — at least 3 meters
  • roll back — a 180-degree turn after stopping
  • hesitate — stopping at a specified moment, at which the horse must stand still

Quarter and Paint Horses are most often chosen for reining, but we can also find purebred Arabian horses and Malopolska horses. The discipline showcases communication, the willingness of both parties to cooperate and the freedom of both the rider and the horse. Although it may seem like a "tough" sport, reining is a technical discipline that requires precision, subtle communication and coordination. Reining is the first discipline recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and by the Polish Equestrian Federation. As a result, it became an Olympic discipline - first western style riders participated in the World Equestrian Games in Jerez in 2002. The growing interest of riders and the public, the increasing number of events and... the rising prize pools reflect the success of this discipline.   


3. Reining in Poland

There is a growing number of equestrian centers in Poland that offer western riding lessons. Riders' associations are being established (e.g. Polska Liga Western i Rodeo, Polish Reining Horse Association). Riding enthusiasts have the opportunity to try their hand at this style of riding or start regular training at the following stables: Meta Ranch, Arizona City, Stajnia Leźno, Janiowe Wzgórze, Roleski Ranch, Dębogóra Ranch and many others.

Looking for western riding equipment? Make sure to check our offer which includes western riding products: western bridles, saddle pads, and boots.

Should you need any assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

Equestrian store: +48 784 039 784


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