Reiners live and breathe to slide their horses every day. Have you ever wondered what it really looks like in slow motion? Have you looked beyond the length of the slide and flying dust to see what the horse is required to do? It happens so quick it can be difficult to see, until now.
The futurity event is the pinnacle of reining accomplishment as they take horses through a 2 year grueling training program in pursuit of winning the covenanted prizes in Oklahoma City, USA as late 3yo’s. The Italian futurity and other futurities happening across the world.
When we saw that Russell Guire of Centaur Biomechanics had videotaped a reiner with his high-speed video camera, we knew it would show the real pressure and psychical strain these horses go through. There’s no doubt these horses get a workout in the biomechanics department.
This is one of those videos that you should watch once or twice, then go to full-screen mode and watch it while toggling the stop/play buttons. Watch the neck, the shoulder, the back and the hocks.
Some horses get high level care, but many do not, and that does not mean they are going to be any better off. Watching the video makes it a little easier to understand why Adequan is one of the largest sponsors of the Futurity.
These relatively small horses are carrying a heavy saddle and rider, well above the accepted ratio of 20% of the horses body weight. And then asked to turn inside out to slide and stop.
Look at the tail bone and see how much work it does in balancing and helping the horse achieve the sliding stop. Regrettably most tails are blocked to avoid penalty scores these days, creating even a great psychical detriment to the horse during the slide.
Many trainers are asking baby horses, just 2yo (some started under saddle even earlier) to start sliding within 90 days of being under saddle and some by 6 months are boasting about the length of the slide. No wonder so many break down or are running on drugs to enable them to get shown or even stay in training.
I’m sure everyone who watches Russell’s video will see something different.
But maybe after watching it, you will notice more than you did before the next time you watch a reining horse slide, and maybe you’ll look at some different parts of the horse and consider what they are really asking this horse to do.