Do you love the thrill and elegance of reining? There’s something so exciting about seeing a horse come to a sliding stop, perform a perfect rollback, and execute a beautiful spin. But make no mistake about it – when every move of both horse and rider counts, performing a reining run well takes both talent and lots of hard work.
The training of a reining horse is a long, ongoing process. While some horses are naturally athletic, they don’t know how to perform many of the movements we ask of them, especially when there’s a rider on their backs.
According to Horse Channel, training a reining horse to spin – a movement which is essential to every reining pattern – requires that the horse be completely solid on the basics. A horse needs to be able to flex laterally in both directions. He should soften into the flexion; if the horse tenses or resists, he needs to be taught to relax and to truly flex.
Then, a horse needs to be taught to collect up. He’ll need time to develop the muscling required to truly collect, and rushing this process can result in injuries and resistance in the horse.
The third skill a horse needs to possess in order to learn to spin is to be able to two-track. He should be able to have his head and neck pointing straight forward while his hindquarters move over, creating two tracks in the dirt.