New to

I am an ex event rider and exercise rider (TB racehorses) and I am taking my first reining lesson this Saturday. I have ridden Western before (mostly ponying racehorses and trail riding) but I’ve never ridden a reining horse before and am so excited. I was wondering if you guys had any tips of things I should know (terminology, etc) before I go? I am planning to just wear jeans and paddock boots, is that appropriate? Thank you all so much! I am really looking forward to learning something new!

I do not Rein, only sat on a finished (Chic O Lena lines) Reiner once, for fun.
'Bout spun my head off!
Saved by the Horn! : D

My $.02:
Be a Blank Slate.
Listen to the trainer, don’t go with pre-formed ideas of Should - either for horse or yourself.

My Very First Driving lesson, I got out of the cart with my legs aching… from applying them to the nonexistent sides of the horse being driven. : }

Jeans & paddocks s/b fine.
& come back to share how it went.


Thank you so much. I am a bit nervous I’m going to get spun off, haha. I will definitely come back to share how it went! :slight_smile:

Sit on your back pockets…you will feel like you are leaning backwards.

Cluck = trot/jog
kiss = lope
hum = slow down
Whoa = STOP…not slow down, STOP
Taking leg pressure off = stop


Here’s a couple cents from me: you might feel like you’re about to fall right off the front the first time you lope a reiner. Naturally low head, loose reins… It’s just a different feeling.


I’m with 2DogsFarm. I got to sit on a well trained reiner once. I’m fairly tall (5’10") and was used to sitting on horses that were 16+hands. I thought my feet were dragging on the ground. She was a doll to ride;I wasn’t brave enough to lope but I did spin, albeit fairly slowly as far as Ghost was concerned.

A blast but Ghost sure felt like a dink compared to what I used to sitting on. Most reiners are fairly small.

Awesome. My kids about did it all. My English friends said I was going to ruin them. The 11 yr old went to a Young Riders camp, on an OTTB, and the instructor stopped her and asked where did you learn to ride like this? When she heard the western part her response was clear ‘that’s why you can follow with your seat.’ And she used her riding as an example for the older kids.

I’m with Bugs Don’t take your legs off unless you mean it! You’ll be hitting the horn. Maybe go to youtube and get an eye for what looks right? I took my kids to reining futurities and they watched nothing but the best for their mental imagery. I’m sure they will start you slow maybe work up to a rundown just for fun by the end.

All the different disciplines have some degree of correctness to them. Reining taught me clean lead changes. Good for YOU!!


I ride stock or ranch horse type reining so no sliding and spins are not super fast. I recommend that you sit back. When everyone says ‘sit on your pockets’ they mean tuck your butt under you and really SIT BACK in the stops. Also, relax in the stops because if you brace it is harder to not get thrown forward. If the horse is well trained and you take your legs off you are going to get a STOP.

Good luck and have FUN!

Just wanted to come back and tell everyone that I am HOOKED after only 2 lessons! I love it!

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Yeah! Welcome to the addiction!

Don’t forget to have someone take pictures.

You can then admire them when you are not at the barn.

Intriguing minds love reining as they keep finding a new better every day, while riding rocking chair gaits.


Im also and eventer and have been DYING to try reining for so long now!!! Care to share more details about your lessons? This may inspire me to sign up for some for myself!!!

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Welcome to the dark side!
I took my first reining lesson almost exactly 7.5 years ago and was immediately hooked.
I started working for a training and breeding facility after that. Flash forward 7.5 years and I’ve won nearly 80k in NRHA competition and am so very blessed to get to do what I love every day.
I am so glad you enjoyed your first experience and hoping there’s many more for you!


You did good, grasshopper!

A trainer told me once, he used to ride broncs and bulls and getting off one, could not wait to try again.
Then he rode a reiner and it was the same, could not wait to see if he could do it again.

Just wanted to come back and tell everyone that I am HOOKED after only 2 lessons! I love it!