My daughter (10 years old) wants to do a few low level, low key reining shows this summer. We went and watched the classes she could/would enter yesterday and it was about 50/50 with sliders, and very few of the horses at her level actually had a sliding stop. It was actually pretty rare to see a horse get a really good stop. Granted, we watched the youth classes and beginner classes. There were only 2 horses that had a really good spin. Very few actually pivoted on their hind end even...most sort of walked a circle.
My daughter's horse has some reining training, and her trainer is willing to give her some lessons to ready her for the next show which is in about 6 weeks. Her horse pivots nicely, but pretty slowly, but when asked right, she'll do a nice, planted hindquarters turn. Her stops are decent. This club that puts these on is very relaxed, focuses on entry-level, LOCAL reining. Yes, there are some much better people in the higher classes, but for the most part, this is an entry-level club, and as you start to improve, you move onto higher level clubs/shows. There were just about as many kids under 18 showing as there were adults.
So my question is...horse is not going to be doing sliding stops anytime soon. She doesn't currently have sliders so it would be silly and unsafe to be training her for that. At this level, do you think it would be necessary to put sliders on her at all? My concern with doing that is that she's also going to be used on trails, is my daughter's 4-h pleasure horse, and will be used at our trainer's challenge trail course. To me, for 1 weekend in June, and 1 weekend in September, sliders seem like a waste of money. I don't want the horse to be useless in the other areas my daughter needs her for.