Reining

Shaping Your Horse's Canter

By Lindsay Grice - Shaping, in learning science, refers to gradually teaching a new behaviour through reinforcement until the target behaviour is achieved. Have you ever played the “Hot and Cold” game? As the player gets closer to the prize, you yell “Hotter!” telling him that he’s on the right track. When my horse is on the right track, I reward his approximation of the behaviour. I call this rewarding the thought, or rewarding a try.

Improving Impulsion in the Reining Horse

With Jonathan Newnham - All reining horses must go forward powerfully. Good impulsion is necessary for a horse to effectively use the power in his hindquarters and back. A hollow-backed horse will not be soft on your hands and/or legs without the maximum use of his hind end, back, withers, and neck.

Steer Your Horse to Straightness

With Cheryl Mitchell - A horse is said to be straight when he is moving forward with the head, neck, shoulder, rib, and hip in alignment. That alignment can be literally straight if you’re riding a straight line, but if you’re riding a circle, the horse’s body has to bend with the circle line to be considered straight.

Reining 101 with Andrea Fappani

Leading reining rider, trainer, and clinician Andrea Fappani provides a basic introduction to the discipline of reining, explaining what to look for in a reining horse and demonstrating several reining maneuvers.

Western Performance Horse Bloodlines

By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne - “Tried and true bloodlines are your best starting point for selecting a prospect, but then you have to go with the horse as an individual because you can have great bloodlines but the horse isn’t always going to live up to the standard of those bloodlines,” says Canadian reining trainer, coach, and competitor Cheryl Mitchell. “Once in a while, you’ll get one without the bloodlines that ends up being a superstar, but that’s less common.”

Choosing the Right Reining Horse

By Jess Hallas-Kilcoyne - Reining is a sport “designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse in the confines of a show arena,” according to the AQHA Rule Handbook, and as such, the reining horse should be quick, agile, and light on his feet. “We need horses that are able to get low to the ground and come through themselves easily and quickly,” says top Canadian reining trainer, coach, and competitor Cheryl Mitchell, of Alberta. “That requires low-set hocks, short cannon bones, a strong hip, strong loin, and clean neck,” she continues, pointing out that these specific characteristics are also valued in working cow and cutting horses.

Developing the Concept of Collection in Your Horse's Brain and Body

With Loris Epis - Collection is not about putting the horse's head down or slowing the speed or tempo of the gait. Instead, think about collection as a well-balanced feel of softness and control through the horse's entire body.

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