THE VERSATILE HORSE
~ Western Riding every which way
Copyright Loping Bill Publications Limited 2011 ©. All rights reserved.
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The only reason a reining horse would have any difficulty is because it’s never been allowed to do anything else. Western Games are a way of letting off a bit of steam. Reining, Western Pleasure and Trail all show singular aspects of the Western Horse to good effect, but why ignore its other notable features as well: which is to say, its nimble footedness and outright speed?
Mention Western Riding to most people and they’ll either ask: “Isn’t that Reining?” or “Isn’t that Barrel Racing?”.
It’s fast, spectacular and uncomplicated.
The horse that is the fastest (a good time is about 17 seconds) around the clover leaf pattern of barrels (without knocking any of them over!) wins the prize.
And wherever in the World you have a meeting of western horses trained to versatility, you’ll find a Barrel Racing competition high on the agenda.
It’s not hard to see why because it requires the same qualities of nimbleness and restrained attack that epitomise the versatile horse and that are needed in a race around barrels.
A good time is about 20 seconds.
Sounds like a piece of cake but it’s amazing how a horse can find a flapping flag sitting in a barrel something to avoid.
But when your horse will do this and then go and put up a good show in a reining class, you know you’ve got a versatile horse…
It’s a good example of a game meeting the more serious side of western riding.
A sack filled with sawdust or similar to a weight of approximately 20 lbs is placed 50 yards from the start line.
The competitor races to the sack, ropes it and races back back to the start line. What could be simpler?!