About the VRHA
The Victorian Reining Horse Association Inc. (VRHA) was formed in 1991.  The VRHA is an Affiliate of Reining Australia (RA) and the National Affiliate Association (NAA) under the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA America)
The VRHA run shows and training clinics at venues located throughout Victoria as well as social functions for its members with annually showcasing the Victorian State Championship Show & Southern Derby Spectacular at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre, Werribee, Victoria.
Entry level competition is available for thoses starting out in Reining and to gain experience and confidence to compete in the National Reining Horse Association sanctioned categories.  The youth program is supported and encouraged by the VRHA.

VRHA Introduces Ranch Riding


No Silver, No Bling, No Fancy Clothes!!


 The next Ranch Riding class will be held Saturday October 7th & Sunday October 9th, 2017: 

Go to Forms & Documents page for entry

VRHA are introducing Ranch Riding this season, with the first competition day being held on Saturday 6th May 2017 at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre. VRHA Ranch Riding class eligibility will be based on Reining eligibility.  


Ranch Riding Attire

Ranch Riding requires a well shaped hat, western boots, jeans, a shirt with long sleeves and a collar

chaps and chinks are optional


Ranch Riding Equipment 

No hoof polish,  No braided or banded manes or tail extensions, trimming inside ears is discouraged, trimming bridle path is allowed, also trimming of fetlocks or excessive (long) facial hair

Equipment with silver will not count over a good working outfit. Silver on bridles and saddles is discouraged
 It is suggested that competitors use a breast collar and a rear cinch.


Click here for Ranch Riding Patterns


VRHA Ranch Riding Class Levels & Eligibility 

VRHA welcome riders of all levels who only want to come along to participate in Ranch Riding

Ranch Riding is also a great way to start out in Rening or do both!!


RR Beginner: For riders new to RR or eligible for entry level Reining. 

Entry Level Reining riders are: Green As Grass, Greenrider, Beginner, Rookie Level 1 & Rookie Level 2

Option to ride pattern one or two handed in a legal bit but cannot swap hands

A change of hands on the reins at any time throughout pattern will result in zero score


RR Non Pro: For the more experienced RR (excludies Trainers / Professionals)

or eligible for any Non Pro Reining Class including the RR Beginners also.

Option to ride pattern one or two handed in legal bit but cannot swap hands

A change of hands on the reins at any time throughout pattern will result in zero score


RR Open: For Professional /Trainers and also open to all Beginners & Non Pro's

Option to ride pattern one or two handed in legal bit but cannot swap hands

A change of hands on the reins at any time throughout pattern will result in zero score



New to VRHA & dont show Reining? You can still show Ranch at VRHA !!


 Ranch Riders can apply for 2018 memberships of the VRHA & Reining Australia


VRHA (Full or Day Membership)


Reining Australia Greenrider


To Join up follow the links below 


The purpose of the VRHA with the aim of the introduction of Ranch Riding is to promote education for western horse enthusiasts:

  • Ride and train a versatile western horse
  • Ranch riding provides confidence to your horses reining maneuveres and training program
  • Maximize horsemanship skills, performance and safety
  • Offer affordable, fun and standardized versatile western horse educational programs and competitions
  • Perpetuate and preserve the western tradition and heritage of working western and ranch-type horses
  • Encourage the use of standard rules for conducting and judging contests for the western all-around horse
  • Define, promote and improve the quality of the versatile western horse
  • Encourage honesty, integrity, respect, sportsmanship and family values
  • All competitions run are designed with classes and divisions for Entry Level to Open competitors


Ranch Riding Rules for Judging


The purpose of the Ranch Riding horse is to reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse. The horse’s performance is to simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse. This class will show the horses ability to work at a forward, working speed while under control by the rider. Light contact will be rewarded and the horse will not be shown on a full drape of reins.
The overall manners and the horse’s quality of movement are the primary considerations.


Each horse will work individually; performing required manoeuvres and will be scored on the basis of 0 to 100, with 70 denoting an average performance

The required manoeuvres will include the walk, jog, and lope both directions and the extended jog and extended lope at least one direction; as well as stops, and back

Three (3) optional manoeuvres may include a side pass, turns of 360 or more, change of lead (simple or flying), walk, jog or lope over a pole(s), or some reasonable combination of manoeuvres that would be reasonable for a ranch horse to perform


The overall cadence and performance of the gaits with an emphasis on forward movement, free-flowing, and ground covering for all gaits. Transitions should be performed where designated, with smoothness and responsiveness

No time limit

The use of natural logs is encouraged

Posting at the extended jog is acceptable

Touching or holding the saddle horn is acceptable

 One of the suggested four (4) patterns can be used, however a judge may utilise a different pattern as long as all required manoeuvres and the three (3) (or more) optional manoeuvres are included.
Should a Judge use one of their own patterns, it is recommended to not have the stop following an extended lope


: A contestant will be penalised each time the following occur:


One (1) point penalties

Too slow per gait
, Over bridled, 
Out of frame, 
Break of gait at walk or jog for 2 strides or less


Three (3) point penalties

Break of gait at walk or jog for more than 2 strides
, Break of gait at lope, 
Wrong lead or out of lead
, Draped reins
, Out of lead or cross cantering more than two strides when changing leads, 
Trotting more than three strides when making a simple lead change, 
Severe disturbance of any obstacle


Five (5) point penalties

Blatant disobedience (kick, bite, buck, rear etc) for each refusal

Placed below horses performing all manoeuvres

Eliminates manoeuvres

Incomplete manoeuvres


Zero (0)

Illegal equipment including hoof black, braided or banded manes or tail extensions

Wilful abuse

Major disobedience or schooling


No specific penalties will be incurred for nicks/hits on logs but deduction made in manoeuvre score

No specific penalties will be incurred for over/under spins but deduction may be made in manoeuvre score



Reining is one of the fastest growing equestrian sports today. Reining is the Western equestrian sport that displays horses and riders in an exciting and stylish way with its purpose to show the horses athletisicm, smoothness, finesse, obediance and attitude. Riders guide the horse through a precise pattern of circles, spins and stops.  All work is done at the lope and gallop.  Reining horses are presented to a judge demonstrating the athletic ability of a ranch horse.  Judged individually as they compete these specific patterns, one or more judges will score each horse.
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) has approved Reining as an Internation sport.  Reining is the first and only Western riding spot to achieve this status.  Western Reining has now become an event at the World Equestrian Games.
VRHA is an Affiliate of the NRHA America & Reining Australia 
The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is the main organisation for Reining in the United States, the NRHA is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of the reining horse.  The NRHA serves as the standard setting body for the sport of Reining worldwide.
Reining Australia (RA) is the Australian organisation governing Reining in Australia, RA is an International Affiliate under the NRHA, and the VRHA are an Australian Affiliate under RA and form part of the International Affiliate Association under NRHA.
Reining Competition
A Reining competition is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a horse within the confines a show arena. Contestants are required to run one of the approved patterns.  Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse.  The judging system is recognised as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of  'degree of difficulty".
Each pattern begins with a score of 70.  The scoring system then adds or subtracts .5 to 1.5 on each maneuver, as the judge watches the horses execution of the pattern, a scribe keeps track of each judges score on a score sheet.  Scores are tabulated and announced at the end of each run.  Credits are given for smoothness, attitude, finesse, quickness and authority when performing the various maneuvers. 
Controlled speed in the pattern raises the level of difficulty and makes the Reining horse more exciting and pleasing to watch.  Increased level of difficulty is rewarded with higher scores if the maneuvers are still performed correctly...
Reining, one of the most popular and fastest growing Equine events in the world.
Reining Patterns
 VRHA Entry Level Reining Modified Patterns