How Did You Start?

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How Did You Start?

This is a discussion on How Did You Start? within the Reining forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    06-10-2011, 07:51 PM
How Did You Start?

I absolutely love reining, and I have always wanted to try it. But I've never had the opportunity. I've never even rode a reining horse, and the farthest I've gotten with my own horses is teaching them to be responsive and light off my aids (still a work in progress, in some cases ), to pivot and to give me immediate stops. It's a start, but I really can't go much further without the help of a professional.

There are no public reining barns in my area-the closest that I've been able to find is almost an hour away. The local lesson barn owner is friends with a woman who does reining and is showing that woman's horse this year, so she would be the most likely person to talk to. However, not only is the trainer pregnant and starting to wind down her year (hence why someone else is showing her horse), it's not like she has a good old lesson horse for me to learn on, and I don't think she'll throw me, a totally beginner reiner, up on her expensive 4YO show horse. I originally intended to ask her to give me some lessons on my own horses, but I don't think that's going to fall through.

My younger mare, who's quick, responsive, willing and athletic enough to possibly do well in reining has a plethora of soundness issues and it might be several years before I can start working her hard again, if that. My other mare is quite sound, is fairly robust and versatile and with some training she could be as responsive as the other, but she's 17 and is starting to show signs of arthritis, and I think it would be unfair to demand the spins and sliding stops and such. Plus, she's not exactly built for reining-everything about her is round and she's built like a house on sturdy little short legs. Not that I would expect to go pro on my first reiner, but still-I would like to show at some point if I ever did start and I don't believe she's the type for the sport.

First thing is: how did you get into reining? How'd you come across it, where'd you find your trainer, tell me about your horse(s) etc. I posted this thread partially to ask for advice and partially to hear everyone's stories. I'd love to hear your scoop.

Second thing is: what would you suggest I do to break into reining? Should I talk to the "local" reiner and take lessons on my older mare, or try to find a barn that's close that offers lessons? What would you do?
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    06-10-2011, 10:55 PM
You definitely need professional help to start with, so I would recommend trying to find an NRHA professional in your area. I travel once a week to my trainer over an hour away because it is really worth it. You can go on to locate one. See if they offer lessons on their horses to start with then perhaps their help to find you a suitable horse. An older experienced horse is the way to start. He will know the movements and help you learn how they feel. Trying to learn on a horse who isn't a trained reiner will just be frustrating for both of you. NRHA also has a new Green Reiner program with reduced membership fees, and less stringent requirements.

We started out in Quarter Horses and bought an all rounder to compete in AQHA shows. He could do a decent reining pattern, so that is what we ended up concentrating on, as we enjoyed it so much. We then bought an awesome horse who had just finished competing at WEG in Europe and hit the NRHA circuit. We retired him this year at 15 as his hocks have terrible arthritis that injections and other treatments could no longer keep sound. Along the way we have bought and shown other trained horses, always trying to move up the levels. This year I am showing my first self (with trainer's help) trained reining horse after competing for 7 years in the NRHA. We won our first money a few weeks ago at her second show.

Good luck and have fun!
    06-10-2011, 11:02 PM
QuoteFirst thing is: how did you get into reining? How'd you come across it, where'd you find your trainer, tell me about your horse(s) etc. I posted this thread partially to ask for advice and partially to hear everyone's stories. I'd love to hear your scoop.

Here is the story of the mare I am showing now...

Messed up and posted twice by mistake sorry
    06-10-2011, 11:05 PM
Here is the story of the mare I am showing...

Horse and Dog Show: THE SALE BARN MARE
    06-11-2011, 11:41 AM
Thanks, Reininginga. If only I had the money to buy a reiner, but ah well. I think I'm happy enough with my two. That'll be my goal if I ever win the lottery.

I think I will look into the barn that I saw. Even just a once-weekly lesson would be better than nothing, and it's not like I've got the money to be taking 3-4 lessons a week anyhow.
    06-11-2011, 04:46 PM
Keep in mind that not all reiners are expensive as in 5 or 6 older, past Derby age horse that has alot of miles but is never going to be an open horse can be found for next to nothing in this economy. But you do need to know what you are looking for so the lessons are a great idea. I hope you get to try it, to my mind there is nothing like the rush! (Except big horses over big jumps which I can't do anymore lol) good luck!
    06-11-2011, 07:53 PM

Where do you live? I live in Western MA and there is a reining barn in this area.
    06-11-2011, 08:10 PM
Originally Posted by bee222    

Where do you live? I live in Western MA and there is a reining barn in this area.
I'm in Canada, so no way am I going to be able to take lessons at that barn
    06-12-2011, 09:12 AM
There are about 20 trainers listed in Canada...I don't know what part you are from but go to; on the home page click find a trainer and then scroll down to the Canada listings near the bottom. Good luck...

Even if you can go once a month, then find some local reiners to 'ride with', ie all get together on one track you will learn alot. We have a group of about 6 people that take turns at each others tracks, with about 80 years of experience between them. I learn more at these gatherings just watching and sharing training tips then anywhere. We play games, have contests, like who can get there horse to 'drop' his head and touch his nose to the ground first. Then we step it up and who can do the same thing without using any rein! Loads of fun!! Maybe put an ad in your local craigslist or local feed store or farrier to find people....Thinking back it was our farrier who hooked us up when we first got here.
    06-14-2011, 06:47 PM
Where in Canada? I'm in northern bc! I have a 5 year old Reiner that I got for $2500. The saying you get what you pay for doesnt apply to him at all! He's easily keeping up with the other five year olds that are being ridden and trained by my trainer! I bought him at cow horse clinic. If you look hard enough you can find a good horse for relatively not much. As long as you have someone the teach you at least the basics you'll be well on your way even if you don't have a horse trained for it. I started to rein on a speedy little mare who I rescued from slaughter and she is now a jumping champion and she obviously wasn't suited for reining, we placed in quite a few classes! Good luck!

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