Recently, I’ve learned how important maneuvers from a different discipline- dressage- is to my reining. I’ve found out since I started showing horses that it’s good to have knowledge from other events, not just your own. It may help you for your riding, even if it’s not what you specialize in.
My horse and I have never been the best at turning. My trainer taught me that half-passes from dressage are the basis of the spinning maneuver. The half-pass movement is where a horse moves forward and sideways at the same time. The horse is bent slightly around the rider’s leg, in the direction they are moving. Go figure, when I tried to do a half pass on my horse, Dreamer, we struggled - a lot. Doing half-passes has been very helpful to our spins, and it’s good for her brain to do something new.
Learning about other events is helpful to your riding for many reasons. Things from english can help your western riding, or the other way around. Even exploring something unique such as liberty can benefit you and your horse in a positive way.
For example, if you trail ride on your horse and want to get along better, going to a reining clinic can help. Like I previously said, dressage has helped my horse and I with our turns. Even doing showmanship, no matter what event you usually do, is great way to get good ground manners. Each discipline has things in it to make you better. I do IEA, and have to do horsemanship in it. Doing so has helped me become a better showman, and has improved my leg and seat. Taking a lesson from a different event can really get you back to your roots.
Incorporating a bit of each discipline into what you do can add some new skills and fun to your riding. Using strengths of events such as horsemanship can- and will make you a better- rounded and more knowledgeable rider. I believe that we can all learn something by doing new things.
I hope that this article inspired you to reach out and try new things!
Written by: Abby Budd, aka @dreamerthereiner