The dry work consist of pre-determined patterns each containing all of the following manuevers.
- Circles - large fast and small slow
- Sliding Stop - hallmark manuever of reining
- Backup - at least 10 feet
- 360° spins - both directions
- Lead Changes - at least one to each side
- Run downs - ending in a sliding stop
Each pattern varies in the sequence of the required manuevers.
Each of these manuevers is judged and scored seperately on the precision of the execution. The horses should be willing to perform each manuvers with little or no visible cues from the rider.
Following is how a pattern decription would read: (NRCHA Pattern 1)
- Start at end of arena. Run down middle past center marker to a sliding stop.
- Back at least 10 feet to center. 1/4 turn left.
- Pickup right lead, large fast circle, slow small circle.
- Change leads to left, Large fast circle, small slow circle.
- Change leads to right, do not close this circle.
- Run around end of arena and down the side (approximately 20 feet from fence) past center marker and come to a sliding stop.
- Complete 3 1/2 spins to the right.
- Continue back down side and end of arena to other side (approximately 20 feet from fence) go past center marker and come to a sliding stop.
- Complete 3 1/2 spins to the left.
- Hesitate to complete pattern.