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.

Jonathan Field, natural horsemanship, horse riding with purpose, exercises for horses, objectives riding horses, moving cattle horses working cows

There is nothing more fun and productive for me and my horses than when we have a real purpose. Whether it is gathering the cows, jumping a log, or climbing a mountain, it is an opportunity for us to do something together.

starting out right horse foot, nancy tapley, horse warm-up, Karen brain, horse riding technique, horse training

When we go to the gym we all know that a good warm-up session is essential when it comes to protecting against such injuries as pulled muscles or strained tendons and ligaments. There is no difference when it comes to your horse’s workout. Many horses spend 23 hours of each day standing around in relatively small paddocks.

Teaching Your Horse to Neck Rein

By Lindsay Grice - Moving from direct reining in a snaffle bit to neck reining in a curb is like teaching your horse a new language and it takes time. Like every child graduates from elementary to high school, neck reining is the next step in a Western horse’s education. By the time your horse is six, he must be ridden with one hand and a curb bit at the breed shows.

Developing Contact in the Reining Horse

With Lisa Coulter - Contact is the connection that exists between the rider’s hand and the horse’s mouth. The connection is generated by the rider not only through the use of rein aids but with aids from the seat and leg also, and is felt by the horse not only in his mouth but throughout his entire body, making contact a more all-encompassing concept than simply rein contact. So how exactly should we define contact for the reining horse? Why is it important? How is it achieved? And what does it feel like?