Western Riding

HSI Reining & Western Information Evening

To view footage of Horse Sport Ireland's Reining & Western Information Evening please CLICK HERE

What is Western riding?

Western Riding is a style of horseback riding which evolved from the ranching and warfare traditions brought to the Americas by the Spanish Conquistadors, and both equipment and riding style evolved to meet the working needs of the cowboy in the American West. American cowboys needed to work long hours in the saddle over rough terrain, sometimes needing to rope cattle with a lariat (or lasso). Because of the necessity to control the horse with one hand and use a lariat with the other, western horses were trained to neck rein, that is, to change direction with light pressure of a rein against the horse's neck. Horses were also trained to exercise a certain degree of independence in using their natural instincts to follow the movements of a cow, thus a riding style developed that emphasized a deep, secure seat, and training methods encouraged a horse to be responsive on very light rein contact.

Though the differences in equipment appear dramatic, fewer differences between English and Western riding exist than most people think. Both styles require riders to have a solid seat, with the hips and shoulders balanced over the feet, with hands independent of the seat so as to avoid jerking the horse in the mouth and interfering with its performance.

"Western Riding" is also the name for a specific type of event within western competition where a horse performs a pattern that combines trail and reining elements.

Horse Sport Ireland's has Launched its New Reining & Western Riding Section.

In light of Horse Sport Ireland’s Strategic Plan objectives, it is Horse Sport Irelands goal to developing the sport of Western Riding and Reining in Ireland. Horse Sport Ireland is currently developing ways to develop new participants getting involved in Western Riding. 

Horse Sport Ireland (HSI) is delighted to have launched its new Reining & Western Riding Section. Applications are now being accepted for subscriptions. Horse Sport Ireland has recently become the Irish affiliate of the world wide body, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA). NRHA rules will be used as the foundation to develop reining within the section.

 HSI has established two specific categories and subscriptions are invited from persons to choose the discipline of their preference either reining or western riding. Details in summary are :

 Subscription A - Reining Subscription

This is intended for riders who are interested in competing in NRHA events under NRHA rules. It is also a requirement for riders who are interested in applying for an international licence to compete under FEI rules. Subscribers are entitled to NRHA membership. We have also developed an insurance policy* (personal liability and personal accident cover) as part of the subscription the cover includes 24 hour cover and a personal accident policy. It is HSI’s intention to host a minimum of two reining clinics in 2010 (available to Reining subscribers only) with a competition day to be held later in the year (details to follow).


Subscription B - Western Riding Subscription

This is aimed towards newcomers, beginners and leisure riders who are interested in getting started in western riding. No affiliation to NRHA is included. This subscription is aimed at the novice/leisure rider and also does not fulfill the criteria to apply for an FEI licence. This subscription includes insurance* cover to include personal liability and personal accident cover. We feel this will improve access to facilities for leisure rider to progress their skills in western riding. It is HSI’s intention to host two training clinics in 2010 (available to western riding subscribers only) with competition (unaffiliated) to be held later in the year (details to follow).  .Subject to terms and conditions as specified by the insurance underwriter.


Subscribing to the HSI Reining & Western Section

Please find subscription forms under the Reining and Western section in the main menu 

Learn to Ride Western

If you are interested in the activity of Western Riding please contact AIRE for names of Centres that are approved to cater for Western Riding at info@aire.ie or on 045-854518.




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