Reining horses and riders complete intricate patterns using a set of barely perceptible cues. At reining competitions, horse and rider pairs are placed in classes sorted by their age, status (professional or amateur) and level of experience.
At the top level of competition, competitors complete one of 10 patterns that demonstrate the athletic abilities of the horse and the subtle communication between horse and rider. Included in the patterns are several compulsory movements: varying circles, small slow circles, flying lead changes, roll backs, spins and the crowd pleasing sliding stop.
Reining competitors also perform freestyles, in which they choreograph the compulsory movements to music. Freestyles are judged on level of difficulty as well as music and choreography.
Reining is the latest discipline to be recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). International reining competitions are now being held for both team and individual competitors worldwide. Reining was included at a medal discipline for the first time at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain. At the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games, the Canadian Reining Team earned the Silver Medal for the team competition, and Duane Latimer took the individual Gold Medal for Canada. While reining is recognized by the FEI and performed at the World Equestrian Games, it is not an Olympic medal discipline.
Canadian Reining Committee
The Canadian Reining Committee is the discipline committee of Equine Canada responsible for developing and implementing programs on behalf of the Reining community. The key role and responsibility of the CRC is to develop broad policy and objectives that will ensure that programs within the discipline are produced, implemented, and effectively evaluated.
In the upcoming months, the CRC will be tasked with establishing a plan and structure for the Reining discipline that identifies how the sport will move forward within the Equine Canada and International (FEI) structure. This will include the development of reining programs such as competitions, officials, coaching and rules within the EC structure. The CRC will also maintain responsibility over the high performance programs including the approval of initiatives such as FEI competitions and the selection process for FEI teams and events.