Equestrian Sports and Competitions

Horse lovers that have reached a certain level of riding ability can turn their hand to a number of equestrian sports and competitions, with the following guide offering a brief glimpse into the different activities available.

  • Racing – Horse racing is serious business and grosses a colossal amount of money. It takes place on flat ground or over jumps, and sometimes includes the accompaniment of a cart or wagon, particularly in the US. If you would like to get involved in some fun racing events near you, contact your local horse society or club.
  • Dressage – This typically English discipline purportedly showcases the ultimate communication between horse and handler, as contestants have to display a series of gaits and movements committed to memory.
  • Cross Country – The definitive test of endurance, cross country events assess speed, jumping ability, and stamina, across a variety of terrains, with competitions ranging from fun local try outs, to Olympic levels.
  • Reining – Embrace your inner cowboy or cowgirl by attempting the Western pastime of reining, which involves guiding the horse through a sequence of spins, stops and slides without any resistance.
  • Polo – Two opposing teams battle it out on horseback by attempting to score goals with the use of long handed mallets. An ancient game originating in Persia, polo is currently played professionally in 16 countries across the world.
  • Rodeo Events – Aside from reining, this all American sport incorporates barrel racing, horsemanship, Western Pleasure, cutting, and a range of other activities that take place on the ranch.
  • Vaulting – Gymnastics on horseback. As the animal trots, or even canters around the arena, a single gymnast or a team of performers complete a daring routine set to music.
  • Horseball – Similar to polo, this thrilling, fast paced contest pits two teams against each other, and they have to stretch down from their saddle, collect the ball, pass it between their teammates and shoot it into their opponent’s net.

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