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Reining is the most practiced American equestrian event in our country.
This discipline is usually defined as ”dressage of the western mount”.
Reining means riding the horse “with the hands around the reins”, and dates back to the work with the cattle that the cowboys made in ranches, when they used horses to gather the herds in the vast prairies; horses had to be nimble, athletic, meek and quick and they had to answer quickly to the commands given by the riders with their reins.
Later the cowboys started taking part to competitions.
The competitors should perform a “pattern” round, riding their horses with two fingers of their hand. During the round they made circles, twists, “spins” in which the horse had to perform a 360°spin, changes of gallop, “sliding stops” a spectacular maneuver which roused the excitement of the audience, “roll backs” in which the horse after stopping performs a 180° spin and then continues galloping, and in the end “backs”.
The sliding stop is a maneuver in which the horse while galloping progressively, at the command of the competitor (woha!), immediately stops its hind legs, which slide in the ground, while the forelegs continue to trot. (See photos in the photogallery).
The maneuver is very complex: It requires very good training of the horse, riderís ability and a specific ground for the correct execution of the maneuver.
To get a remarkable execution, horses must have the following features:
1. welfare
2. they must listen calmly to the riderís commands, without taking the initiative
During the competitions qualified judges give the scores basing on the rules through which they value the right execution of the patterns.

Reining not only means riding a horse, but it means controlling every single movement of the horse

Gregorio Minervini

Caterina Minervini


Cutting is the most important discipline of the western mount. Cutting consists in showing to the judge “the cow sense” of your own horse.
The rider enters the herd with silent steps, without scaring it, and then he makes a “deep cut”, riding his horse with his reins towards the calf to be cut off; then the rider cannot ride the horse with the reins but he must lean his hand on the horseís neck and show that his horse can work the calf freely.
The rider can choose two or three calves during the two minutes and a half, that is the race time. Once the calf is outside the herd, according to the herdís law, it will try in every way to enter again the herd, and so very quick swerves and moves can be seen; that is why cutting is a very spectacular sport in which the horse is completely free.
Not all horses cannot take part to cutting; the best ones are the “quarter horses” with a specific pedigree.


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