This past weekend was my team's first IHSA show of the season, and I was really pleased with the caliber of our riders, especially given the complete lack of recognition and funding from the University. I have got to work on changing that around. But I digress, the kids did very well and it was fun to watch the western portion. When I rode IHSA on the East Coast we only had a Hunt Seat team. I found it interesting that the western horsemanship position is very similar to dressage. Aside from that, rail classes are rail classes and there isn't much difference between the hunt seat rail classes and the western, except for the blingy western outfits. Now the reining class, that was interesting to watch. I wanted desperately to hop on one of those horses and do a big fast, small little, quarter line canter and sliding stop. Ah, but I was coaching not competing. Maybe I'll throw my hat in and do it Alumni reining next year.
As I was inspired by the reining at the show, I thought to myself "I can do that, Rose can do that, and I'm pretty sure my dressage saddle can do that". So, today I gave it a go. After a nice warm up working on our balance and transitions I decided to mix things up for Rose and do some simple reining patterns. After all, she already knows figure eights and simple changes. The big change was going from halt to canter, and of course those turn on the haunches. Guess what though? She loved it. I let her stretch long and low and canter her little bum off. She had no problem going from halt to canter and nailed all the transitions. Our sliding stop was definitely more of a trot to halt dressage transition, and our turn on the haunches is rusty, but we got them anyway. It was such fun! I can only imagine how exhilarating it would be to do on an actual reining horse.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!