How do you spot a good reigning horse?
There are probably several questions in here, so feel free to take notes as I ramble around them.
The short version is, how do I know if the horse I'm considering will make a good reigning horse?
And for the record, I'm defining "good" as simply being capable and willing. I'm not looking for any titles. I may not even compete. I'm a very green and inexperienced rider just now beginning western riding lessons. And I'm also "old" (42). But I already get the sense that trail riding or going in circles while the trainer scolds me for one thing or another may not be enough to hold my interest.
So, in considering all of the disciplines/pursuits/sports that are available to me, reigning captures my interest the most.
The horse I'm considering is one I'm leasing for the purposes of lessons and to determine if I should take the leap and purchase. He's 6-yr-old AQHA/APHA gelding.
He's respectful, listens well, but is a touch on the lazy side - often requires some real encouragement to trot or canter.
He currently belongs to the stables/trainer that provides my lessons. The trainer's take on him is that he is a bit out of shape and needs more regular work to get fit. I empathize with that, greatly.
No one rides him with any regularity other than me, and that's been in an indoor arena 2 to 3 times a week for an hour at a time.
I've watched him frequently out in the pasture and he seems quite energetic out there. I've even seen him try to "cut" some of the other horses in an apparent attempt to get them to play with him.
Pretty much every time I turn him out, he waits for me to exit the pasture and close the gait and then he canters off to find his best friend.
So, knowing all that, how can I start working with this guy to find out if he has the heart/mind/soul of a reigner? Or perhaps, given his tendency to cut his own herd, maybe I should consider that he's better suited to that?
Or maybe I'm over thinking this and simply by virtue of his bloodline, he was born to western riding and I simply need to train him to the pursuit I choose.
Any advice would be most helpful.
One of the good things about QH/paint/appy is that they are among the most versatile horses out there and providing that his conformation is solid, there is absolutely no reason why he couldn't do both cutting and reining. How does he lope? Does he seem content to work in lots of circles? How is his stop? Does he plant hard or does he just kinda slow down into it? Also, is he more tall and lanky or is he shorter and built more like a tank? Generally, those horses that are tall and lanky will have problems really getting into the ground like you need for a reining/cutting horse to do. Probably your best bet would be to see what the trainer thinks of his potential and go from there.
Blink, I've read some of your other posts and know you have a sense of humor, so I hope you'll forgive me for saying some of the hallmarks of a reigning horse are excessive jewelry, including crowns and tiaras, a ermine and mink turnout rug, a regal air and a propensity to issue proclamations and boss other horses around. You could say they have a regal air, and many are inbred.
If you want to know about reining horses, go with what smrobs said.
You say tomato, I say tomatoe.
Reigning...****, I actually typed that several times, didn't I? :oops:
Okay, let's move this one over to the "Hilarious things non-horsey people say" post.
And just because I want to point it out first: Yes, I really am a trained, educated, and experienced writer/editor.
This should earn me no shortage of grief from this crowd.
When it reigns, it pours!
In any case, if you have only ridden him in the ring, I wouldn't be necessarily concerned about him being lazy. Our mares seem to like 'work with a purpose' and although they do fine in the ring, you can tell they are bored and their heart isn't in it. Take them out on a trail or around the cows and they're all ready to get to business. They is a lot of fun, interesting work, and challanging you can try him with... roping, cutting, penning.
I only say I'm old because in one of my original posts I was congratulated for taking up riding at an "older" age. There are some real young'uns on this board, so I like to poke fun at their perspective!
I am anxious to get him out of the arena. I haven't yet because the few times I'm able to get to the stables in a week, I feel like I want to make the most of it and work with the trainer - who refuses to go outside right now in her "delicate" condition (ie, her husband is NOT a gelding!).
I'll get him out from under the roof this week and try to get a sense what he does in the great wide open.
Mustn't disappoint the common rabble, you know.
Why is there no "edit" option for my original post!?
This can't stand!
Sorry dahling, but once there have been a certain amount of minutes elapsed, no editing allowed.
So your thread title stands for everyone to see. :twisted:
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