Great story at the America's Horse Daily website about a little tiny QH ex-reiner that is now storming the ranks of the Herculean warmbloods and OTTBs that traditionally dominate the sport of eventing. Considering that I volunteer for an organization that retires many of these same OTTBs, I am fascinated by stories of horses finding happiness and new challenges in second careers. When it's a western horse that crosses over into the land of eventing, it's doubly exciting, because it proves that it doesn't always pay to maintain a narrow disciplinary focus. Dressage work can help in reining, and reining work can very obviously help in jumping and dressage. Of course, with training in reining comes a lot of work in developing those big stock horse hind ends, and perhaps that's why this little guy seems jet propelled over those cross country fences.
Cross-training a horse can, at the very least, add new flexibility and capability within the performance of the chosen sport, and even result in finding new paths towards success. Champion dressage rider Anky Van Grunsven might get to demonstrate her own cross-disciplinary finesse this fall at WEG if she competes with the Netherlands' FEI reining team. In doing so she will demonstrate that great horsemanship defies the boundaries of a single event, and that by riding in another pair of boots, much can be learned about our horses and our sports.
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