Reining History

 

Reining

Reining in the World Competitions is like watching a Formal Rodeo.

 
Lusitano-045Reining in the World Competitions is like watching a Formal Rodeo.   Reining was never intended to become a sport.   It was intended to protect the integrity and life of the horse and rider.   It probably started way back thousands of years ago when man started to herd cattle on horseback.   There are no records about this in any history books.   This is why today we attribute reining to the American cowboys.   They moved huge herds of cattle all across the land from East to West first and as civilization grew, from West to East so people in the cities had meat to put on their tables.
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Lusitano-014During that time there were no fences limiting the animal’s movements.   They roamed free on the prairies.   When it was time to sell them, ranchers and cowboys got together and started combing every draw and canyon they could find to get the cattle to the pens where they were inspected and turned over to whoever owned them.   Many of these animals, like the longhorns, were huge and wild after living for long periods of time in the wild having to protect themselves from predators and other cattle.
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Lusitano-022After they animals were rounded they were driven, sometimes for thousands of miles and many months to the railroad depots where they were shipped to the Eastern markets.   Like I said before, most of these animals were huge, fierce and not inclined to move from their homes.   They fought back every time someone wanted them to move or do something they did not feel like doing.   The cowboys and horses had to be fast and agile to avoid the long, nasty and sharp horns coming at them with three thousand pounds of angry bull below them and this is how reining started.
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Lusitano-035Men would get together and organize contests where horses were raced, bulls were mounted and off course.   They showed their abilities to turn on a dime and give you eight cents back.   Competitions included roping exercises, riding wild horses, barrel riding and many others.   These events proved the team’s capabilities to work together.   It is also worth mentioning that a cowboy spent most of his time sitting on top of his horse.   So with time they learned to understand each other and to work together harmoniously and without too many orders being necessary.   Both the horse and the man knew exactly what had to be done in a given situation.
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Lusitano-034Now we go to another part of the world where a similar situation was taking place.   But it was not part of the man’s job.   It was done for fun.   In Spain and Portugal men on top of Andalucian and Lusitano horses were fighting bulls in the arena.   Courageous animals and men stood before the bulls taunting them to charge so the matador could first set in the banderillas on the bull and later kill it with a sword or a garrocha.   These horses and men did not do this for money, they did it for fame and glory.   They faced death at every step where one mistake could have meant permanent or serious injury and death.
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