Lily Margaret

Cactus Reining Classic

Back in March, my friend Taylor came all the way from California to visit me!!

Actually, she came to compete in the Cactus Reining Classic, a reining horse show held in Scottsdale, AZ at Westworld. I met Taylor at a two-week equine science program at UC Davis a couple summers ago. My plans to go back and visit everyone were put off because of Covid, so I was so happy when she let me know she was coming to Arizona!

First off, I got to meet Taylor’s horses in the barn, and then watch her ride two of her Quarter horses, Missy and Ricky. I had never been to a reining show before, so I had no idea what to expect (I was just so psyched to be back at a horse show).

The show atmosphere was so chill, which I loved. Everyone was so welcoming, and willing to explain everything new to me. I feel like reiners and eventers could get on really well, there were so many similarities. One thing that really stuck out to me though was how well trained the horses were. No one was lunging (weird), the warm up arena was controlled, and there were no loose horses. I don’t even think I saw a horse spook the entire time I was there. Reiners take training to a whole new level, especially considering how young and athletic so many of the horses were. I was amazed.

I also got to learn about some of the different maneuvers the judges score, and how a run is scored in general. For example, a 70 is the base score, but usually not quite good enough to win. Another interesting observation— when I asked Taylor about the tape on her horse’s feet, she explained that it helped keep the shoes on during big slides. There must be some good reason why we don’t do this as eventers, because it seems like such a simple fix that could save a lot of pulled shoes.

Taylor (and friends), thank you so much for welcoming me into your circle and teaching me so much. I’ll see ya at the next one!!

Taylor, Ricky, and I

May 2, 2021

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Lily Margaret