Some of the area’s best reining horses will be at the Tractor Supply Co. Arena this Saturday as part of the Franklin Reining Classic, a fun show designed to offer a non-sanctioned competition in advance of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) circuit this year. The Franklin Reining Classic is presented by Tennessee Equine Hospital.

Reining horses and riders perform a set pattern routine, often compared to figure skating on horseback without the music. Riders will execute four NRHA patterns and one American Quarter Horse Association pattern geared toward ranch horses. Each pattern will include slow circles, large fast circles at a lope, lead changes, sliding stops, roll-backs and spins.

“Competitive reining came out of the work that stock horses would do on western ranches, where the rider needed to control the horse and the horse had to be fast and smart to be an effective herder,” said Kathryn Ayers of Ayers Performance Horses, a reining horse trainer and the event organizer. “The best reining horses bring a mix of speed, agility and trainability, and they work as one with the rider.”

While any breed can compete, most reiners are American quarter horses, paint horses or Appaloosas. Ayers expects about 30 horses to compete on Saturday.

As part of the program, the equestrian drill team from Liberty Run Farm in Nolensville will perform during the intermission at Noon. Events will run from 9:30 a.m. to Noon and from 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. The concessions stand will be open and the Franklin Reining Classic is free and open to the public.

For more information on reining horses, visit www.nrha.com. To learn more about the Arena, visit www.tractorsupplycoarena.com.

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