First Steps

Story + Photos by Jennifer Paulson

When you watch the top-level reiners in the show pen, you probably notice their lope departures look effortless and perfectly composed. In major events across the country, the pros take purposeful and eye-appealing first steps onto their circles, ideally taking few walking steps before loping off.

As you watch, you probably think, “There’s no way I can reach that level of precision.” While that might be true – especially if you’re not a professional – you put for the best lope departure you and your horse are capable of with these tips from NRHA Professional Crystal McNutt.

Click here to read on or flip to page 50 in your 2020 September Reiner.