Saturday, June 15, 2013

Getting Dizzy

So as I mentioned earlier, I went out to try reining today on the southern peninsula of Maryland (AKA the middle of nowhere). It was a lot of fun! Not necessarily a style of riding I'd want to do on a regular basis (not a fan of the plod-along trot or the herky-jerky canter), but it was fun to try and the horses were VERY well schooled at this farm.

Essentially the difference appears to be that to steer in a curb bit, you lift your hand, put one leg on, and take the other leg completely off the horse so you are pushing him into an empty space. Then you drop your hand again once the horse starts going in the direction you want.

Of course Lena, the lesson horse mare I was riding, quickly figured out how green I was to all of this and took it upon herself to help me practice this new kind of steering by ducking in, stopping at the gate, and cutting corners -_- I guess that is why she is a lesson pony!

I had a lot of trouble getting the correct canter lead since they have been trained to canter from a squeeze with two legs, rather than bending to the inside and then asking with the outside leg. She was grumpy in general and since I had been fumbling with the new style of steering, she was ducking in especially as we attempted the canter

But that wasn't really the main the end of my lesson, I got to try some spins on a horse with the special sliding shoes.

I also got to wear some cowboy spurs. Don't worry, they weren't sharp--the rowels are more for show than anything. Starlight responded to just a tickle from them.

Don't worry, I won't be turning to the dark side more than occasionally...this reining farm is 1.5 hours away from me. And I love my boy's big trot and his valiant effort at jumping!


  1. When I was a working student, the trainer I worked for her husband was a reining/cutting/rail trainer. My job was to just hack out the horses for their owners/bathe/clean tack and now and they started having me do the western horses too, now and again he would give me a reining lesson, So much fun!

  2. My BFF rides reining and when I am to hold to ride Hunters anymore I want to ride reining lol!! The ones I've ridden don't have a jerky canter or plod along trot so maybe it was just the horse you rode :)

    Sounds like a fun lesson!!

    1. Could have just been that mare. She was kind of a grumpy schoolie

  3. My barn owner is big into reining. I believe he used to compete at a pretty high level (although he's between horses now). It looks like so much fun! My favorite part is always the spinning and the sliding stop. A girl at our barn just bought a reiner and she hasn't gotten to any of that advanced stuff yet, but the horse is super broke so when she asks for a simple turn on the haunches, it usually starts spinning really fast - much to her bewilderment every time. So cool!

  4. I just found your blog, so I'm scrolling through oldish posts and had to comment on this one. ;) I belong to the dark side. All western saddles, cowboy hats and spinning for me. One of my biggest dreams for my horse and I is to compete in Ranch Pleasure and etc. :) Like someone above said, it was honestly probably the horse you rode that had a rocky kind of gait. My Quarter has a really rough trot from not being anything but a lesson horse for a long time and he NEVER ran unless other horses bullied him, but my mom's Appaloosa who was used as a barrel horse and who knows what else has the smoothest gait ever! Most western horses have really smooth gaits, other than my fatty. ;)

    1. I think that's the general consensus. She was a grumpy little lesson horse so that was most likely it. Thanks for checking out my blog!

      I just popped over to yours--I LOVE your layout. Are you some kind of HTML/CSS guru or is there an easy way to make it look so crisp and fancy?