I had great plans for the weekend. It looked like Sunday was going to be clear and dry and I was going to get a jump on the cheat grass that is rapidly growing. Well, it was clear, but the wind was blowing hard enough to cause power outages and topple trees, so that plan went out the window.

Like most people, I want the real spring to get here, but nature is always the boss so I decided to relax and focus on something indoors where I know for sure what is happening.  The best part is — it’s free and open to the public.

The 2011 National Reined Cow Horse Association Stakes starts March 23 and runs through the 27, at the Idaho Horse Park, in Nampa, Idaho. This event features many of the top snaffle bit futurity horses in the country. During the five-day event, four and five-year olds by NRCHA subscribed stallions will compete in both snaffle bits and hackamores.

It was only a month ago that I first saw a top-level reining horse work and was amazed at the training and horsemanship by both horse and rider. A few days later I was given the opportunity to ride one of those horses.

I have mainly ridden ranch horses in various stages of training. My horses have always stopped when I cued them or said “whoa,” but this takes on a totally different dimension on a reining horse.  I said “whoa” and found the horse’s rear end tucked under its front. I was hooked when I saw what a horse was capable of. Next I thought I’d turn the horse. The horse literally spun in place. I could see where that could be pretty handy working cattle.

You should check this out for yourself. No matter what kind of horse you ride, or even if you just like watching horses in action, this exciting event will showcase good riders and horses. I’ll be there and will capture some of the highlights in my next blog.


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