Roe Valley treated to Western riding demonstration

Theresa McCaffrey

Westernreiten 002 Pferd International 2011.JPG
"Westernreiten 002 Pferd International 2011" by Usien - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Members of the Roe Valley Western Riding Club were given a real treat thanks to a demonstration by a current Irish champion.

Niall Bradley, from Bog River Ranch near Cauldy, came down to the club and showed the various disciplines involved with Western riding competitions. Farming Life reports that the current Ireland Western Reining champion showed attendees the ins and outs of areas such as Western Showmanship. These classes look more at the rider than the horse and require the utmost professionalism.

Bradley, who is also a Horse Sport Ireland Reining and Western Riding committee member, explained that while the conformation of the horse is not taken into account, riders must be aware that grooming, condition and trim are all important. He also recommended that to be a success in a class such as this you do not need a Western horse such as Paint, Appaloosa or Quarter Horse, as steeds such as Cobs and Thoroughbreds have been successful in the past.

The Irish champion went on to talk about his own Western riding speciality of Reining. It represented a great opportunity for members to pick up some expert tips from one of the best in the business and was a real insight for new and seasoned riders. Reining is the Western form of dressage but requires a different skillset.

While Team GB excelled at dressage during the 2012 London Olympic Games, the Western version is quite a departure from that form. Bradley showed members of Roe Valley his championship-winning skills which involved spinning his Quarter horse which sees the horse turn on one spot on it haunches. It then performed a series of rollbacks, a rapid turn immediately followed gallop in a different direction, sliding stops, flying changes, circles and a backup.

Attendees were highly impressed by Bradley's demonstration which will no doubt inspire them next time they get in the saddle. Vincent Lusby, president of Roe Valley Western Riding Club, told the news provider that the event was a huge success.