Required Reining

Reining will again enter the international spotlight at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Information from the Federation Equestre Internationale


Reining is designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch-type horse in the confines of a show arena. Contestants are required to run one of 10 approved patterns, divided into seven or eight maneuvers.

Reining was approved as an FEI discipline in 2000 for horses 6 years and older.

Some History

Reining originated from moves that a cow horse must use in performing its duties and was first recognized as a sport in 1949 by the American Quarter Horse Association. AQHA members, competitors, coaches, breeders and horse owners contributed to giving the western ranch type horse the international recognition it enjoys today.

Required Maneuvers

The required movements are:

Walk-in: brings the horse from the gate to the center of the arena to begin his pattern; the horse should appear relaxed and confident.

Your horse isn't the only one who should appear relaxed and confident. You'll exude confidence after you read through The Journal's Beginner's Guide to Showing report. It has everything you need to know for a top notch showing experience!

Stop: the act of slowing the horse from a lope to a stop by bringing the hind legs under the horse in a locked position sliding on the hind feet.

Spin: a series of 360-degree turns, executed over a stationary (inside) hind leg; location of hindquarters should be fixed at the start and maintained throughout the spin.

Rollback: a 180-degree reversal of forward motion completed by running to a stop, turning the shoulders back to the opposite direction and departing at a canter, as a continuous motion.

Circle:done at the lope, of designated size and speed; demonstrates control, willingness to guide and degree of difficulty in speed and speed changes.

Hesitate: act of demonstrating horse's ability to stand in a relaxed manner at a designated time in the pattern; horse should be motionless and relaxed.

Lead change:act of changing the leading legs of the front and rear pairs, at a lope, when changing direction.

Rundown and runaround:demonstrate control and gradual increase of speed to the stop.


Reining horses are judged individually. Each horse automatically begins the required pattern with a score of 70. Points or half-points are given or taken away for each maneuver. Credit is given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority. Controlled speed in the pattern raises the level of difficulty and makes the reining horse exciting to watch.

Who knows, you just might make it to the World Equestrian Games one day. Prepare for your debut with The Journal's Beginner's Guide to Showing report. Whether you're just starting out or need a refresher, this 26-page report contains valuable information designed for you to put your best foot forward in competition. Also makes a great gift!

Major Competitions

The first World Reining Championship took place during the World Equestrian Games at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, in 2002, and Ohio horseman Shawn W. Flarida became the first FEI reining world champion. The first European Championship took place in Reggio Emilia, Italy, in 2003.

Reining will be part of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, the first time the Games will take place in the United States.

World Equestrian Game Quick Facts

The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, are just over a year away, and the world’s greatest equestrian athletes are already gearing up for this event. AQHA is an official sponsor and is the official breed sponsor of WEG reining. Here are some quick facts about the games:

Dates: September 25 to October 10, 2010
Duration: 16 days
Anticipated Ticket Sales: 600,000
Anticipated Economic Impact: $150 million
Number of World Championships: 8
Number of Participating Nations: 60+
Number of Equine Athletes: 900
Number of Human Athletes: 800
Anticipated Media Attendance: 2,000
Anticipated Television Viewers: 500 million
Anticipated Trade Show Booths: 400+
Number of Volunteers Needed: 8,000
Anticipated Volunteer Shifts in 16 days: 25,000

For more information on the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit