To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every movement.
In reining, a rider is required to negotiate one of a set number of 11 patterns which include prescribed manoeuvres of stops, spins, rollbacks, lead changes and circles at a lope. Each contestant will perform the required pattern individually and separately. All horses will be judged immediately upon entering the arena, and judging will cease after the last maneuver. Any fault incurred prior to the commencement of a pattern will be scored accordingly.
The horse should be wilfully guided with little or no resistance. The horse is judged on movements, mastery of pattern and attitude and is scored 0-100 with 70 denoting average. The following will result in no score:
- Abuse of an animal in the show arena and/or evidence that an act of abuse has occurred prior to or during the exhibition of a horse in competition;
- Use of illegal equipment, including wire on bits, bosals or curb chains;
- Use of illegal bits, bosals or curb chains; when using a snaffle bit, optional curb strap is acceptable; however, curb chains are not acceptable.
- Use of tack collars, tie downs or nose bands;
- Use of whips or bats;
- Use of any attachment which alters the movement of or circulation to the tail;
- Failure to provide horse and equipment to the appropriate judge for inspection;
- Disrespect or misconduct by the exhibitor
- Closed reins are not allowed except as standard romal reins.
A rider may untangle excess rein, where excess rein may prevent the rider from continuing the pattern, where said excess can be straightened without affecting the performance of the horse, during hesitations, or when settling a horse; rider’s free hand may be used to hold romal in the normal fashion.
The following will result in a score of 0:
- Use of more than index or first finger between reins;
- Use of two hands (exception in Junior, Snaffle Bit, or Hackamore classes designated for two hands) or changing hands;
- Use of romal other than as outlined in 443(e);
- Failure to complete pattern as written:
- Performing the maneuvers other than in specified order;
- The inclusion of maneuvers not specified, including, but not limited to
- Backing more than 2 strides
- Turning more than 90 degrees
- Equipment failure that delays completion of pattern; including dropping a rein that contacts the ground while horse is in motion.
- Balking or refusal of command where pattern is delayed;
- Running away or failing to guide where it becomes impossible to discern whether the entry is on pattern;
- Jogging in excess of one-half circle or one-half the length of the arena;
- Overspins of more than 1/4 turn;
- Fall to the ground by horse or rider
Neither a No Score nor a 0 are eligible to place in a go round or class, but a 0 may advance in a multi-go event while a no score may not.
The following will result in a reduction of five points:
- Spurring in front of cinch;
- Use of either hand to instill fear or praise;
- Holding saddle with either hand;
- Blatant disobediences including kicking, biting, bucking, rearing and striking.
The following will result in a reduction of two points:
- Break of gait;
- Freeze up in spins or rollbacks;
- On walk-in patterns, failure to stop or walk before executing a canter departure.
- On run-in patterns, failure to be in a canter prior to the first marker.
- If a horse does not completely pass the specified marker before initiating a stop position.
Starting or performing circles or eights out of lead will be
judged as follows:
Each time a horse is out of lead, a judge is required to deduct one point. The penalty for being out of lead is accumulative and the judge will deduct one penalty point for each quarter of the circumference of a circle or any part thereof that a horse is out of lead.
A judge is required to penalize a horse one-half point for a delayed change of lead by one stride.
Deduct 1/2 point for starting circle at a jog or exiting rollbacks at a jog up to two strides. Jogging beyond two strides, but less than 1/2 circle or 1/2 the length of the arena, deduct two points.
Deduct 1/2 point for over or under spinning up to one-eighth (1/8) of a turn; deduct one (1) point for over or under spinning from one-eighth to one-fourth (1/8 to 1/4) turn.
A 1/2 point penalty deduction will be given for failure to remain a minimum of 20 feet (6 meters) from the wall or fence when approaching a stop and/or rollback.
In patterns requiring a run-around, failure to be on the correct lead when rounding the end of the arena will be penalized as follows: for 1/2 the turn or less, one (1) point; for more than 1/2 turn, two (2) points.
Faults against the horse to be scored accordingly, but not to cause disqualification:
- Opening mouth excessively when wearing bit;
- Excessive jawing, opening mouth or head raising on stop;
- Lack of smooth, straight stop on haunches-bouncing or sideways stop;
- Refusing to change leads;
- Anticipating signals;
- Backing sideways;
- Knocking over markers.
Faults against the rider to be scored accordingly, but not to
- Losing stirrup;
- Failure to run circles or figure eights within the markers is not considered a fault depending on arena conditions and size; however, failure to go beyond markers on rollbacks and stops is considered a fault.
A show may have up to three approved reining classes.
- If three reining classes are to be held at a show, they shall be the following:
- Senior reining shown with bit;
- Junior reining shown with bit;
- Hackamore/snaffle bit reining (5 years old and younger, shown with hackamore or snaffle bit);
- No horse may be entered in both junior bit and hackamore/ snaffle bit reining classes at the same show.
- If two reining classes are to be held at a show, they shall be the following:
- Senior reining shown with bit;
- Junior reining shown with either bit, hackamore or snaffle bit at the discretion of the exhibitor.
- If only one reining class is to be held at a show, it shallbe the following:
- Reining-all ages – horses 6 years old and older must be shown in bit; horses 5 years old and younger may be shown in either bit, hackamore or snaffle bit at the discretion of the exhibitor.
While horse is in motion, rider’s hands shall be clear of horse and saddle.