What is Reining?
Reining has been called the dressage of the western world. As in dressage, a rider pilots a collected horse through a prescribed pattern while being judged on smoothness, control, attitude and finesse.
However, all similarities stop there. Where dressage is slow and measured, reining is a fast-paced thrill ride full of hard-driving runs, explosive stops and dizzying spins.
About the NRHA
Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is an organization dedicated to the promotion of the reining horse. It serves as the standard setting body for the sport of Reining worldwide. Check out our Historic Milestones.
NRHA MISSION STATEMENT:
Title: This organization is incorporated under the laws of the State of Oklahoma and shall be known as the National Reining Horse Association, and shall at all times be operated as a not for profit association in accordance with the laws of the State of Oklahoma and the United States of America.
WHAT IS REINING?
Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena. In NRHA competition, contestants are required to run one of thirteen approved patterns, included in the NRHA Handbook.
Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse.
The NRHA Judging System is recognized as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of “degree of difficulty”. Many segments of the equine judging discipline have openly embraced the NRHA Judging System.
NRHA has flourished over the past two decades. Membership numbers have more than doubled to top 19,000; including more than 1,400 youth members. There are currently over 800 NRHA approved shows and approximately 150 Entry Level Reining events held around the world each year. NRHA shows pays out more then $13 million in competition purses annually with the winner of the NRHA Open Futurity taking home $150,000.
The NRHA Executive Committee has aligned with other worldwide equine associations to accomplish common goals and to move the sport of Reining into the international arena. In 1988, Americana became the first show in Europe to be NRHA approved. Gaining acceptance as the first Western Discipline of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) in 1998 marked an important milestone in the history of Reining, the western horse, and the NRHA. In 2000, the Federation Equestre International (FEI) accepted Reining for International Competition, and Reining was approved as the first Western Discipline to be inducted into the World Equestrian Games in 2002. Today, NRHA is continuing their efforts to expand the sport of Reining across all borders.
NRHA HALL OF FAME
Over the years since NRHA’s inception, many individuals have contributed to its growth. Some are human and some are equine. All have been exceptional! Exceptional in their individual accomplishments and exceptional in their contribution to the sport of Reining.
In recognition of these individuals, NRHA instituted the NRHA Hall of Fame as a continuing acknowledgement of the contribution of these exceptional contributors. The Hall of Fame can be visited in person at the NRHA headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
$$$ MILLION DOLLAR EARNERS $$$
In 1993, Hollywood Jac 86, a leading NRHA Sire for many years, was the first sire to accumulate over $1,000,000 in offspring earnings. In 1995, Bill Horn, one of the sports founding members and leading riders, became the first person to win over $1,0000,000 in NRHA competition. These were astounding milestones for the sport of reining and prompted the association to institute a program that will continue to recognize individuals that achieve this level of accomplishment. Since then, a small number of others have joined this elite group – the NRHA’s Million Dollar Earners.
COMPETITIVE LEVELS FOR ALL
In addition to the two premier events, there are multiple divisions of competition offered at approved shows to enable competitors at all levels to participate, learn, and improve as they master the intricacies of one of the most exciting equine competition events. NRHA offers the following approved divisions in competition:
- Intermediate Open
- Limited Open
- Rookie Level 1 & 2
- Non Pro
- Intermediate Non Pro
- Limited Non Pro
- Prime Time Non Pro
- Snaffle Bit
- Novice Horse Open Level 1 & 2
- Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 & 2
- Youth 14-18
- Youth 13 & Under
- Youth 10 & Under Short Stirrup
- Unrestricted Youth
The best ride is one that appears effortless while combining technical difficulty and stylistic elements.
A judge scores every part of the pattern from the time the horse enters the ring until the last maneuver.
Each rider enters the ring with a score of 70, which denotes an average performance. The judge then adds or subtracts points during the performance. With seven to eight maneuvers in each pattern, each gets a score ranging from minus 1 1/2 (extremely poor quality) to plus 1 1/2 (excellent quality). Points are given for level of difficulty and finesse, while points are taken away for loss of control of the horse or deviations from the pattern. If no points are given or taken away, that denotes a maneuver that is correct with no degree of difficulty.
British Reining holds two shows each year – The Spring Show at the start of the season and finishing with The Championship Show. In addition each year a Trophy Buckle is awarded to the High Point winners of each class category.
British Reining classes are also held at BR approved shows with NRHA judges. A Horse that does not have an NRHA Competition Licence will need to apply for a British one to compete in British Reining Classes.
Visit www.britishreining.co.uk to see where you can see Reining in the UK