Freestyle Reining offers an opportunity to riders to demonstrate their horse’s talent and ability in a fashion that is both fun and appealing to the audience. Reining maneuvers originated from moves that a cow horse must use in performing its duties and have been refined to the high level of competition existing today. Freestyle Reining not only provides an opportunity to use these maneuvers creatively, but also to expand them to music by means of choreography. Riders are encouraged to use musical scores which permit them to show the athletic ability of the horse in a crowd appealing way.
However, this is still a judged event, and all entries must perform required maneuvers during their performance, including:
(a) A minimum of four (4) consecutive spins to the right
(b) A minimum of four (4) consecutive spins to the left
(c) A minimum of three (3) stops
(d) A minimum of one (1) lead change at the canter from right to left
(e) A minimum of one (1) lead change at the canter from left to right
According to NRHA rules, exhibitors will only be judged astride, are allowed to use two (2) hands (as well as one, or no hands) and may use any bit approved by the NRHA Handbook, including snaffle bits and bosals approved for use in the Snaffle Bit or Hackamore classes. Failure to perform all the required maneuvers or failure to complete the performance within the time limit will result in a score of zero (0). Additional maneuvers such as rollbacks, backups, speed variations, and non-classical reining maneuvers such as half pass and side pass are appropriate in Freestyle and shall be given appropriate credit. The Freestyle Reining competition will take place on Saturday evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The competition will be greatly enhanced this year by the $1,000.00 added prize money, donated by Equipride – Post Waterers and Trevor Walton. A list of entries for the 2018 Michigan Horse Expo Freestyle Reining will be posted as they are received!
(If you are planning on entering an of the Reining Events and need to reserve a stall, our available stalls are filling quickly!)
Photos are from the Freestyle Reining competition at the 2016 Michigan Horse Expo.