What is Reining?
Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse in the confines of a show arena. In NRHA competition, contestants are required to run one of sixteen approved patterns. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, rollbacks over the hocks, repeated 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse. The attraction of reining involves speed, precision, and unity of horse and rider. While reining is somewhat similar to dressage in its level of finesse while performing a pattern, the added elements of speed and riding one handed on a loose rein make for a much higher degree of difficulty. And while great reining competitions are often fast and thrilling, the level of discipline involved in a well-executed reining pattern is not found in any other equine speed event.
"Reining is truly unlike any other horse sport in the world. It is thrilling to watch, but an especially incomparable experience from the back of a well trained reining horse."
Who is the NRHA?
Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of the reining horse. The National Reining Horse Association is the governing body of the sport of reining responsible for enforcing the standards of competition, promoting the sport, and educating its members and the general public about the proper performance of the reining horse in the show arena. Reining is the fastest growing equine sport in the world.
The membership of NRHA has grown by 300% in the past 12 years, and the number of approved reining events more than tripled in that time. As of 2005, NRHA has grown to over 13,500 members worldwide, sanctioned over 575 events in the Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena.
In NRHA competition, contestants are required to run one of ten approved patterns, included in the NRHA Handbook. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse. The NRHA Judging System is recognized as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of "degree of difficulty".