Troy Koehl Performance Horses

Professional Reining Horse Trainer

As a professional reining horse trainer, Troy Koehl helps to bring out the best in your horse. In the sport of reining, horses should be willingly guided by their riders with little or no apparent resistance. An untrained horse will pin his ears, conveying a threat to his rider, refuse to go forward, runs sideway, bounce his rear, or wring his tail in irritation.

All of these behaviors can be corrected with the help of an experienced professional, and this is exactly what Troy Koehl excels at doing! With over 10 years of experience as a reining horse trainer, Troy takes pride in his work with both horses and riders alike. Call us today at  936.718.0500 to schedule training.

Reining Horse Trainer Movements and Terms

The reining pattern includes an average of eight to twelve movements which must be executed by the horse. Patterns require the following movements:

  • Circles

    The horse must perform large, fast circles at a near-gallop and smaller, slow circles at a lope. They should be perfectly round, with the rider dictating the pace of the horse. There should be an easily seen change of speed as the rider transitions from the large, fast to the small, slow circles. Most circles incorporate changes of direction that require a flying change of lead.
  • Flying lead change

    The horse changes its leading front and hind legs at the lope mid-stride, during the suspension phase of the gait. The horse should not break gait nor change speed. While completing a change at speed can improve one’s score, precision is the most important factor in judging: A horse taking more than one stride to complete the change, or a horse that changes early, late, or that changes only the front feet and not the hind feet will be penalized.
  • Rundown

    The horse gallops or “runs” along the long side of the arena, at least 20 feet (6 m) from the fence or rail. A rundown is a required movement prior to a sliding stop and a rollback to the designated direction (either towards the judge or towards the nearest wall depending on the pattern).
  • Sliding stop

    The horse accelerates to a gallop and then suddenly comes to a complete halt, planting its hind feet in the footing and allowing its hind feet to slide several feet, while continuing to let its front feet “walk” forward. The back should be raised upward and hindquarters come well underneath. A particularly powerful stop may, depending on arena conditions, produce flying dirt and a cloud of dust. The movement should finish in a straight line, and the horse’s position should not change. This movement is a crowd favorite, along with spins.
  • Back or Backup

    The horse backs up quickly for at least 10 feet (3 m). The horse must back in a perfectly straight line, stop when asked and hesitate a moment before the next movement. It is judged on how quick, smooth and straight the line is.
  • Rollback

    The horse immediately, without hesitation, performs a 180-degree turn after halting from a sliding stop, and immediately goes forward again into a lope. The horse must turn on its hindquarters, bringing itshocks well under, and the motion should be continuous with no hesitation.
  • Spins or Turnarounds

     Beginning from a standstill, the horse spins 360 degrees or more (up to four and one-quarter full turns) in place around its stationary inside hind leg. The hind pivot foot remains in essentially the same location throughout the spin, though the horse will pick it up and put it down as it turns. Spins are judged on correctness, smoothness, and cadence. Speed adds to the difficulty and will improve the score of a correctly done spin. A pattern requires at least one set of spins in each direction. Horses must stop the spin in the designated place or be penalized for over or under spinning. The term Pivot is sometimes used to describe a turn on the hindquarters of up to 360 degrees where the horse has to keep a rear pivot foot stationary. In 4-H competition, pivots of 90, 180, or 360 degrees are sometimes used in pattern classes to introduce youth riders to reining concepts.
  • Pause or Hesitate

    The horse is asked to stand still for a few seconds to “settle” between certain movements in the reining pattern, particularly after spins. Pauses are not judged as a movement per se, but a horse that is ill-mannered or behaves with impatience when asked to wait will be penalized.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Reining, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License