Wednesday, September 29, 2010

World Equestrian Games...


The World Equestrian Games are currently taking place in Lexington KY.  They have never been held outside of Europe and can basically be described as Horsey Olympics.  When I found out about them and learned that they were only 2 1/2 hours from BG, I knew that I had to go and watch at least one event.  While searching through the events, I decided that it would be best for me to go and watch something that I actually understood and had participated in, so I chose reining.

Reining is a class that is designed to show the skills that a horse would need while working cattle on the range.  They would need to be able to show dramatic variations in speed (fast and slow while at the canter), agility (sliding stops and spins), and an ease in handling that would make them a pleasure to ride for long days while performing ranch duties.  The horses used are primarily American Quarter Horses and this is an event that is the most popular in the US. 

 A typical reining pattern looks a little like this:
Walk to center ring and perform 3 pivot spins to the left and then 3 to the right.
Perform a large fast (hand gallop) circle to the left.
Perform a small slow circle to the left.
Change leads in the center and perform a large fast (hand gallop) circle to the right.
Perform a small slow circle to the right.
Change leads in the center and canter around the end of the pen.
Increase speed at center ring and ask for a sliding stop.
Roll back (a turn on the horses hocks) and lope around the end of the pen.
Increase speed at center ring and ask for a sliding stop.
Back 3 horse lengths.

This pattern (with the exception that it has two large fast circles each way) can be seen here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt5WOCMAFhY
That is Shawn Flarida from the gold medal winning Team USA...  He had the highest score of the whole competition!  I didn't get to see him ride but the video is awesome!







1 comment:

  1. Oh.My.Gosh! I am so jealous you got to go and see some reining at the games! Awesome! Did you see Shawn Flarida's ride on his palomino? I would have loved to have seen that live! (link to it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt5WOCMAFhY )

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