Equestrian Sports

Equestrian Sports
What are the main disciplines?
The most popular equestrian disciplines are:
• Dressage
• Show jumping
• Eventing
• Racing
• Showing
However others include polo, hunting,
endurance and vaulting amongst many others.
An Insight into Popular Disciplines
Dressage is the training of a horse to perform complex and precise
movements when requested by a subtle aid from the rider. Dressage takes
a great amount of control and self-discipline to progress and achieve the
top marks. The best dressage riders from around the world include Laura
Bechtolsheimer, Anky van Grunsven and Edward Gal (pictured below
riding the record breaking horse Moorlands Totilas).
Showjumping is perhaps one of the most well known of the equestrian
disciplines involving each horse and rider completing a set course of jumps
where the fastest competitor with the fewest faults (faults or penalties are
given when a horse knocks down a jump or refuses it). The jumps can be
up to 6 feet high and 5 feet wide so the horse must trust the rider and be
bold but also agile like a dressage horse to complete the tight turns
between jumps without losing balance.
Eventing is the combination of dressage, showjumping and cross country held
over one or three days and is again one of the most popular possibly due
to the coverage of the higher standard events on national television.
Horses and riders that event have to have the qualities of both diciplines
discussed so far plus the stamina and boldness required to go across
country over huge fences and ditches.
Other Disciplines
Other less well known but equally popular amongst equestrian athletes
include the fairly common polo, hunting and showing to the newer but
equally exciting vaulting, endurance and even polocrosse. Horses have
been used for centuries for practical and working purposes, particularly in
the rural areas, however as these traditions are slowly dying out, they are
used more and more for leisure; whether riding is for recreational fun at
the weekend or as a professional career there are a great number of
people who are involved in some way with equestrian sports.
Image Sources
(1) http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=2458
(2) http://www.eventbusters.co.uk/cgi-bin/eb_pages/magazinearticle.asp?pageid=test
(4) http://www.horseracingsystemsblog.com/
(5) http://www.newrider.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178638

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