Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff Tim McFadden and Joe Junior Tag competed in the Reining Alberta Spring Classic on Friday.

Reining Alberta Spring Classic on now in Red Deer

Over 200 horses at Westerner Park

Horses and riders are competing at the Reining Spring Alberta Classic until Sunday at Westerner Park.

In the sport of reining, riders lead horses on maneuvers like galloping in fast and slow circles, spinning on the spot, and fast slides ending with an abrupt stop.

Show manager Leslie Noble McCleave said horses have to be collected to do maneuvers that require them to switch their leading legs.

She said horses will favour leading with their left or right legs. It’s just like when hockey players favour using one edge or their blades over the other.

“(Horses) are one-sided too. One is always easier. They are stronger on one than the other side. Sometimes you have to work harder on one side,” Noble McCleave said on Friday.

She said Reining Alberta is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary so more classes were offered at the event for participants to hone their skills. Classes are available from Reining Alberta, the National Reining Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association classes, and the American Paint Horse Association.

Noble McCleave said the days are long at the show, but riders are committed.

“We start at 8 o’clock in the morning and sometimes it’s 10 o’clock at night before we finish. But everybody is so dedicated. They love the sport.”

She said membership is growing at Reining Alberta.

“This spring show has probably been one of the biggest spring shows we’ve had in a while. We’ve had over 220 stalls booked.”

Admission is free.

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