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What would it take to maintain a reiner? As in, what are the daily routine/exercises?

For instance,

My WP horse is still green so my trainer gives me homework. We are currently working on straight lines and right turns because he wants to fall out at the shoulder and he doesn't want to use his hind end.

Do you do the spins and slides daily or is that like a weekly type thing? Do you work on transitions or do you run through patterns?
 

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Lots and lots of loping circles! Seriously, that was 95% of the riding I did as an assistant at a reining ranch, lol. In addition to keeping them in amazing shape, you're focusing on keeping the shoulder up and the horse round and collected. You're getting them to consistently maintain the cued speed, with smooth & immediately adjustments to that speed whether asked in the center of a figure 8, random places on the circle, or before or after a lead change. Lots of counter cantering, both in circles or diagonally across the arena, so they aren't anticipating lead changes, too. Sliding stops are tough on the legs, so you only do what is necessary, and that depends entirely on the horse and how well the rider sets him up.


There are 10 approved NRHA patterns, but IME, people rarely practice the actual patterns because they don't want the horse anticipating. For instance, the patterns all have 4 spins each direction - you'll probably practice your spins in groups of 5-6 at home so your horse doesn't learn to fade or slow on his final 4th one, as that would decrease your score. You may opt to lope 3 circles one way and 4 the other, before going for a straight run and stop. You'll also rarely (if ever) ride a reiner along the fence/rail - he needs to go precisely where you're telling him, not because the fence line directs him; in the patterns, run downs have to be straight lines at least 20 feet from the fence, and you don't want your circles becoming oblong ovals at the top from a horse fading toward the fence.


Really though, all "maintaining" has to be tweaked to the individual horse, his level of training, and his rider's ability level - same as any other discipline.
 
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Just curious, I notice many many many reining horse trainers riding in gadgets (draw reins ect) is this the norm of what other people have noticed too? I'm talking about Reining DVDs and YouTube training videos...
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As far as maintaining a reiner or cowhorse it isn't so much of practicing the maneuvers everyday but more about keeping them soft and being able to move every body part when asked.

Like Cynical said it really depends on the horse and their strengths and weaknesses.
 

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Just curious, I notice many many many reining horse trainers riding in gadgets (draw reins ect) is this the norm of what other people have noticed too? I'm talking about Reining DVDs and YouTube training videos...
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I rode for one trainer that used draw reins but she always used them with a regular set of reins like they are meant to used with so the horse doesn't get in the habit of dropping too far behind the bridle. Sometimes used a german or running martingales. Mouth shutters are pretty common, but just like any other piece of equipment, it needs to be adjusted and used properly.
 

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Lope, lope and more lope. Lope endless circles, adjusting your speed from fast to slow, counter canter, and almost as many rectangles as circles......nice square corners, speed up on the long side, slow, turn the corner, corner again, and speed on the next long side......randomly stop more than 3/4 way down long side.....perhaps back up, perhaps a rollback and start again.....keep them guessing. We practice stops and spins really not much at all in comparison.
 

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Every time a Novice practices sliding stops, turn-arounds and lead changes, they take a little 'off' of a horse. Everything the Novice takes off of a horse, the trainer must tune-up and put back on. Horses only have so many tune-ups in them. Some horses are naturally more honest than others. Some just look for ways to cheat.

The biggest thing you must ride and train for is to NOT let a horse anticipate anything you are going to do. They anticipate lead changes and stops very quickly if you are not really careful.

The more riding you do out of an arena, the better off you are. NEVER ride along the fence. Do all of your riding 10-20 feet from any fence.

You are safest practicing loping circles and squares and doing lots of speed changes. Only ride 2 speeds -- run fast and lope very slow. Keep a horse doing them from you changing your seat rather than pulling on them. Patterns have no place for a trot or a medium lope. Always bring a horse's hip way to the inside for a lope departure. You exaggerate it during practice sessions and do it less in a pattern. When you exaggerate in practice sessions, the horse knows a departure is coming and has to wait for you to ask for it. With his hip way to the inside, he cannot get in the habit of charging off or hopping up in the front end to lope off. He MUST do it right.

Do not do any figure 8s. But, if you have a place where you can ride two tangent circles, do them without a lead change in the middle. Make them look a lot more like two back to back Ds with a very flat, straight line across the center. When you come across the center, if the horse wants to change directions, then continue on the same circle. If the horse comes across nice and straight without anticipating a direction change, then change direction without a lead change. You will then be on a counter canter on the second half of the D. Horse learn to anticipate worst at that X in the center of the arena or between your two circles in an open area.

Horses also anticipate long runs down the center and then anticipate sliding stops. I like to run them straight but on a diagonal from corner to corner and either fence them at the end or just before the end, sit back, do a speed change (rather than a stop) to slow them down and make a circle when there is still room to do so. Again, this is to keep a horse listening and not trying to get ahead of you. It also is another way that helps keep them between your reins and between your legs.

Always end your riding session in the practice area, be it an arena or open area. Have a horse stand alone off in a corner for a good while. I tell people to look at their watch and sit there for 5 minutes. I prefer a horse to be completely relaxed and resting a hind foot when a rider dismounts. Then, get off there and loosen your girth before leading back to the barn. This does more to prevent sour horses than anything you can do on his back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I left a message with a trainer today but haven't heard back from him.
 

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Again-it is a weekend. I can tell you that even our trainers from NY are in Carolina. Carolina Classic is this weekend in Williamston, NC. That is most likely where they are. You may have some luck the middle of next week.
 

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Again-it is a weekend. I can tell you that even our trainers from NY are in Carolina. Carolina Classic is this weekend in Williamston, NC. That is most likely where they are. You may have some luck the middle of next week.
I bet your right. The first e-mail I sent took days for a response because they were at a show and then they said they would be headed to another show the next weekend... At least I know it's a real show barn....
 
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