Reining question

seen a few videos from a local level reining show in my area. They do spin, fast circle, collected circle, lead change, stop and roll back which from what I can tell are the standard components?. Was curious to ask if different/additional movements were required at higher levels or same movements but higher degree of quality expected?

Look up world championship videos and compare?

The patterns in reining classes are the same for all. There are 12 of them, the judge decides which one for each class.
The way those are performed is tweaked down at the lowest levels and gets way more technically perfect and difficult at the higher levels.

Even the best, most talented great show horse with a green as grass level rider just won’t go there and put it out, and should not, like it would for a more advanced rider.
Reining horses are supposed to just work “willingly guided” and a green rider would not know how to ask for and control the horse at the speed and athleticism of the higher levels.

NRHA offers several levels of competition for:

  • Open riders.
  • Rookie and entry-level riders.
  • Non Pro riders.
  • Youth riders.
  • Novice horses.
  • Aged event (futurity, derby, and maturity) horses.
  • Affiliate (or local level) competitors.

Here is an example of what is required for the beginner Green as Grass classes:

Reining looks easy, is not as easy to do right as it looks even for those that are stars at other horse disciplines, but is fun for many that try.


thanks for the helpful response @Bluey,

I kinda stumbled over this thread and this struck home for me. One of the barns I used to board had a reiner that would come in during the winter. Rider was awesome and the mare was very highly placed at least at the more local competitions.

One day Ghost’s owner/rider asked if I’d like to ride her :astonished: Heck yeah!!! (I was a low level dressage rider on a 16h TB). Got on Ghost and felt like my feet were dragging on the ground. I was told how to ask her to spin and I was able to get a few rounds of spin from her but nowhere near what she could do! (But, plenty fast enough for me). She gave me what I asked for, no more and no less. I wasn’t capable of asking her for more/faster.

BTW, it was a blast even thought we were going relatively slow. :partying_face:


Reiners of all levels are expected to perform the same maneuvers (unlike dressage) except for riders qualifying for be Green classes that allow a simple lead change and riding one or two handed….and the Short Stirrup which is for riders 10 and under….they only do 2 large fast circles, 2 small slow, 2-3 spins and 2 stops, no lead changes.
The difference in classes or levels lies in the degree of difficulty of each maneuver (faster circles or looser reined) and challenging the pattern which should result in a higher score.

1 Like

thanks @TheHunterKid90