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garlicbunny 04-25-2011 07:17 AM

trail riding a reining horse
My hubby and i are looking for a nice been there done that QH. We found one and she was used for trailriding and sold to a young man that trained her for reining. I am not sure if she ever competed but she really impressed us with her side pass, spin, her stop (just sit back and put feet forward using no reins) and only using the reins when you want her do something. She was very calm and we were told she will go if you want her too. We are going back to ride outdoors next sunday and if things go well we may be ready to purchase her. My question is do any of you trail ride your reining horse for trail and what do we need to know that we may not think of?

Also looked at a nice QHgelding that had to have constant pressure on the bit and a high headset like english, found out the horse was trained for english and had little western training. I did not like riding him past the walk because it just wasn't relaxing. I have told hubby over and over this wasn''t the horse for him but he still wants to go back and take a second look. He didn't trot the first time so I told him he cannot even think about purchasing him unless he trots him. He is also herdbound and won;'t stand in a stall, he was very agitated. i keep telling my hubby that pretty is as pretty does. Any comments so that I can convince him which horse would suit him better. thank you!

Lenuccia 04-25-2011 07:56 AM

Well, tell your husband that a herdbound horse is NOT very good for trail riding. Been there, done that. When that is said of course it can be trained and the horse can learn that it is all right to go out alone. But if you want to buy a horse and enjoy it right away I would definitely not choose the gelding.

As for the mare I think she would be a very good choice if she has already been used for trail riding. The reining part is good as she will be very obedient to your commands and used to balance herself and able to move around. A horse that can do a spin will also be able to turn around with very small space on a narrow path if necessary. What is most important is that she should be bomb proof and not easy to scare. This you can only verify hacking out with her. See if a bird suddenly rising from the bushes make her jump or if she is insecure on her legs when you descend the hills (not likely, I think).

I prefer a western ridden horse for the trails as the saddle is more comfortable and secure, and you can have one hand free to move away branches and so on. Not surprisingly the cowboys ride western style as they stay a lot of hours in the saddle.

Coverting an English ridden horse to western can be done but it take a little work. If you have had the luck to find a mare that is already western ridden and also a very good horse.. well... I wouldn't have a single doubt :-)

usandpets 04-25-2011 08:08 AM

The reining horse would be your better choice, unless you have time to work with the horse, experience in training, or want to pay to have someone work with the second horse. I think the training for reining isn't bad for a horse that is going to be for trail riding. That horse is just going to be soft and more sensitive to your cues and will listen better. Even though reining is more by leg cues and seat cues (I think), the basic riein controls are still there. We don't do reining but do trail ride. I like to have my horses know how to go off leg cues and neck rein, but I can still go back to the basics with them for a beginner rider, pull right rein to go right, pull left to go left and both to stop. They don't forget if they have advanced training.

The second horse would have to be worked with to deal with the herd bound issue and that it doesn't always need to have contact on the bit. Some horses are just plain antsy, and some of those can be taught to relax. Some are just prone to high anxiety and won't calm down. Seems like the second horse may have anxiety issues, but that could be from the herd bound issue.

If you are looking for a horse that you can hop on and go from the beginning, I would pick the first. If you don't mind putting time and work into the second horse before you want to ride, then you could get the second.

P.S. Even though I'm biased towards mares, I didn't base my opinion on their gender, just on how you described them. Some people say geldings are more relable and mares are moodier, but it all depends on the horse.

garlicbunny 04-25-2011 12:33 PM

Thank you both so much for the answer I already knew but now I can show this post to my husband. I DO NOT want to have to work with his horse, the gelding is only 7 or 8 yrs and the mare just turned 13. Both are selling for the same price. He is partial to the gelding as he may be a touch better looking, I keep telling him pretty is as pretty does...haha He also only as only walked him so I told him he had to trot him before making a decision. Thanks again!!

usandpets 04-25-2011 01:18 PM

Another issue that you may have to deal with in getting the gelding is him being spooky outside. One of our geldings was trained for arena work but was switching to trail riding when we got him. He is awesome in an arena. The first time he was taken outside everything and anything spooked him, even the wind hitting his butt! He has Impressive in his blodlines and we were told he will always be spooky because of that. He has gotten a lot better but with work and time though. Since the mare has already been trail ridden and has more training, experience and years, she would be the better choice.

cowgirlsus 04-25-2011 10:07 PM

I would personally go with the reining mare. I have a reining gelding and he the most amazing horse i have ever had. Reining horses are trained to be soft on the bit and the way they stop on a dime is def. a plus! I trail ride my boy all the time no problems of any kind with him being a reining horse. he loves it it gives him a chance to get out of the arena and enjoy himself. Now that i own a reiing horse i don't think I would ever go back :b

Saddlebag 04-26-2011 09:22 AM

Why not let your hubby ride the horse without your being there. I think part of the problem is you are advising him too much and he's trying to make it his decision, not yours. He won't tell you to back off cause he doesn't want to wind up on the couch.

garlicbunny 04-26-2011 07:20 PM

Thanks to all of you whom replied. I will let you all know which one he decides on...

touchofsleep 04-27-2011 12:54 AM

A friend of mine rides with her reining horse on trails. He always seems to be pawing and ready to go and she has to turn the reins to make him stop at any trot or canter or he just wont stop

xNightHawk 04-27-2011 05:19 AM

This is garlicbunny's hubby (of 32+ years). Thank you ladies for the words of wisdom....especially the Mares RULE! Geldings drool! comment. garlicbunny thoughtfully shared your inputs with me and encouraged me to join the horse forum. I/we won't forget your advise when the decision is made. Just need to take a second look at both the mare and the gelding, and the wife before I choose. Something tells me if I don't choose the mare, I'll be missing garlicbunny's smile. Thank you.

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