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?