Big guys and reining - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Big guys and reining

This a genuine question, why is it that the reining community seems to be more accepting of larger people?

Whenever the subject of heavier riders come up then Tim McQuay is usually mentioned



then someone else posted a picture today of Shawn Flarida




He is no air fern either.

Both these guys are awesome riders at the top of their sport, and we know that reiners are usually shorter horses, so why is that? No one turned a hair at the reining stables when I showed up, and they have been happy to have me ride. Where does this come from I wonder?
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 06:56 PM
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It's because reiners rock! Lol!

No I think the stature of some of the QHs allow for a larger rider and these guys are pretty darn skilled, the horses are rode pretty hard and the horses seem to be staying sound and performing pretty well for that matter. What you see in a show run is not what happens at home. So the training is vigorous but fair. Doing a whole session of sliding or spins is unheard of.

But then again, we reiners are pretty nice folk
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post #3 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 06:58 PM
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I'm glad I'm slimmer than those boys, but I'd sure like to have 1/20th their ability!

FWIW, I think reining has stayed in touch with its ranching roots. And from what I've seen, ranches have their fair share of big boys who ride and work like dogs from sunup to sunset. It is a world where "The man that holds his own is good enough", to use an Australian poem. My gelding Trooper probably didn't break 800 lbs during his ranch days, and he carried 200+ lb men in 40 lb saddles all day in the mountains. Of course...could that be why he likes my 5'2" daughter?

There are horse sports where rider weight hurts performance. Reining doesn't seem to be one.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."

Last edited by bsms; 09-04-2013 at 07:00 PM. Reason: spelling, darn it!
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 09:07 PM
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I have no idea-but even some of the girls are "big boned". At least the ones I have seen, and some are top of their game. Definitely not the petite size 2's.

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post #5 of 14 Old 09-04-2013, 09:45 PM
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I have found that to be the case not only in reining but for the majority or western riding.
My best friend in high school was a heavy set gal and she was very tough to beat in high school rodeo, showed cow horse and cowboyed like the boys. Same with a gal that was on our ranch rodeo team.
I have never thought about it before, as to why size would matter. So I guess I could ask the same question, in what discipline does it really make a difference?
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 01:08 AM
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I often wonder if the biggest part isn't just the difference in the horses. Generally speaking working western horses are compact and stout; short back, broad chest, well sprung ribs, etc. So, the height actually means very little.

Whereas many of the English style horses are focused on height rather than strength. Their horses are more like TB's and such with the dainty long legs and light muscle mass; great for jumping tall heights or doing a xc course in record time, but not so great for pulling long hours of heavy work on a ranch.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
I have found that to be the case not only in reining but for the majority or western riding.
My best friend in high school was a heavy set gal and she was very tough to beat in high school rodeo, showed cow horse and cowboyed like the boys. Same with a gal that was on our ranch rodeo team.
I have never thought about it before, as to why size would matter. So I guess I could ask the same question, in what discipline does it really make a difference?
Well depends on the discipline, I can quite see that anything that includes jumping should not be the first choice of the bigger rider.

Would the extra weight slow down a barrel racer, most of the top racers look to be in the normal weight range?

Calf wrestlers and tie down ropers, well thems big boys, but the event isn't about riding but more about getting off as quick as possible

IDK, you look at the top flight of any equestrian sport and you don't see big people, until you come to the reiners. If it because the sport is closer to it's heritage then I presume that there would be big people roping, cutting and sorting as well.

Reining is, allegedly, a hard sport on a horse, so it's strange that the big guys seem to do OK.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 07:19 PM
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It's true that you don't see many upper level barrel racers that are big, but whether that's because of their size or not, I don't know. I can't see Sheri Cervi being a worse rider if she put on 100 pounds. She might need a stronger horse to get the same times, but her ability wouldn't change.

As for the male dominated western disciplines like roping and cutting, there are a ton of big guys there. Not many of them are fat, that's true, but that doesn't mean that they are light. Most the guys who ride western events are like the quarter horses they ride; a little thick, sometimes compact, most often strong, and usually fluid. BUT, you spend as much time on horses as they do and being fat really isn't an option LOL. It gets worked right off them.
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Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 08:19 PM
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Does anyone know the longevity of competitive reining horses in general and, in particular, the ones ridden by the weightier riders? I confess that I do not follow the comings and goings in the discipline or really even know who all the competitors are. My stereotype of the upper levels is that a new horse is pretty much campaigned every year by those serious competitors and am assuming that that is because they are in the business of selling expensive horses or, alternatively, they need to be replaced because of health issues.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-05-2013, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Good question Chevaux, I wonder if anyone here has answers, although stats maybe hard to come by
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