6 Things All Reiners Have Done At Some Point In Their Career
From the professionals down to the rookies, there are a few hallmarks that define a reining career: first sliding stop; first show; first big win. And then there are a few others that we’re a little less proud of as well, but are nonetheless a rite of passage in and of themselves. Once you’ve accomplished these six achievements, you’ve really made it as a reiner, no matter how many bronzes decorate your shelf.
1. Lost your hat in the show pen.
Nothing makes you feel less cool than when your hat flies off in your first big fast circle. Whether it was due to an ill-sized hat or a lack of hairspray or bobby pins, there’s nothing that compares to the walk of shame when you have to dismount after your pattern and shuffle over to your poor little hat lying there in the dirt.
2. Gone left when you should have gone right (or vice-versa).
It may have been your first show ever. It may have been last weekend. Don’t worry, everyone does it — that doesn’t make it any less frustrating or embarrassing, but you’re not alone, no matter if it was spins or circles. Off-patterns happen.
3. Forgot to tighten your cinch and then schooled your spins.
It doesn’t matter what kind of no-slip pad or cinch you’re using … no cinch = no saddle when you start turning around that fast. This can also apply to basically any other reining maneuver, from your circles to your rundown.
4. Rolled your polo wraps the wrong way.
Ah, polo wraps: such an important part of your horse’s gear, and so difficult to master. And we’re not even talking about the part where you perfect the ultimate polo wrap with even thickness the whole way down, just the right amount of support on the fetlock and wrapped in the right direction. Nope, we mean the part where you get all the way to the end and discover that the Velcro’s on the wrong side. You either rolled the polo wrong right out of the wash, or you started it in the wrong direction on the leg. Unwrap, reroll and start over!
5. Overspun … or underspun.
Your cheering squad can hoot, holler and whistle as loud as they want at three-and-a-quarter … but even with some ground support, counting to four is way harder than they led you to believe in kindergarten. In our defense, it’s a lot harder to count to four when the arena around you is a blur and you’re fighting motion sickness.
6. Hooked a spur on your opposite pant leg and fallen down.
Don’t lie … it’s happened to you. Hey, we get it — it’s hard to function with jingly foot extenders that exist purely to trip you up from time to time. Bonus points if you’ve done this in a highly-public place. Gold star if you were holding something important in your hands at the same time.