Riding Disciplines


In certain circles, dressage is referred regarded as the “ballet of horses.” When riders instruct their horses to make certain moves in a predetermined pattern, this is referred to as pattern riding. Traditionally, dressage begins at the most fundamental level – when riders are expected to walk, trot, and stop their horses – and progresses to the Grand Prix level, where the horse and rider perform complicated abilities such as piaffes and passages with their horses. At all levels, the horse is evaluated based on his flexibility, responsiveness, collection, and sense of rhythm, among other characteristics.

Pleasures of the West

Western Pleasure is a western-style competition held at horse shows that assesses horses on their manners and aptitude for a relaxed but collected gait cadence and relatively modest pace of gait, as well as a calm and receptive demeanour, among other things. The horse must look to be a “delight” to ride, according to the script. The most competitive horses are those that are calm and quiet, have collected, soft gaits, and have the strong muscling required to maintain slow, controlled movement.


Reining is a type of western horse competition in which the riders guide their horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. The lope and gallop are the quickest horse gaits, and they are used for all of the labour. Due to the fact that it needs the horse to be attentive and in sync with its rider, whose assistance should not be immediately seen, and that it scores the horse on its ability to perform a defined pattern of movements, reining is often referred to as a Western style of dressage riding. The horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent opposition, and its every move should be prescribed to him in full and total obedience.

Penning and cutting are two different things.

Cutting and Penning are equestrian competitions that take place in the western riding style and entail the control of cattle from a horse’s perspective. Cutting is a horse and rider competition in which they are assessed on their ability to separate a calf from a herd of cattle and keep it separated for a limited amount of time. The calf then attempts to rejoin its herdmates, and the rider releases the reins (or “puts his hand down” in horsemanship jargon) and leaves it totally to the horse to keep the calf separated, a duty that the best horses perform with joy, savviness, and style. A participant has two and a half minutes to demonstrate his horse; normally, three cows are cut during a run, however working only two cows is permissible in some circumstances.

Competitive Penning is a team sport in which three riders compete against each other to separate three identical cattle from a herd of 30 and place them into a 16′ x 24′ pen through a 10′ opening at the other end of the arena in 60 to 75 seconds (depending on the class or the sanctioning body of the event). The sport involves 30 head of cattle, mainly yearling beef cattle (mature cows or bulls are not permitted), with numbers mounted to their backs, three of each number from 0 to 9, in order to win. A run begins when the line judge drops his flag as the lead rider’s horse crosses the foul line, signalling the start of the race. A randomly selected number is then announced by the announcer, such as “Your number is seven,” at that point. The riders are then aware that they must remove the three head of cattle that are wearing the number “7” from the arena and move them to the opposite end of the arena, where they will be placed in a pen and time will be called.