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Equestrian disciplines – what are they and which one to opt for?

The vast majority of people associate horse riding only with obstacle courses and jumping on a horse. The reality is more complicated: equestrianism is divided into several sports, which are intended for different groups of people. Which ones are right for you?

Speed and excitement

Show jumping is the most well-known equestrian sport that involves more and more people every year. The adrenaline that comes with competing is unimaginable – even more so when you’re sitting on a several hundred pound powerful horse that has to make the jump. Fast pace, spectacularity and simple rules are the main characteristics of this riding discipline.

The competition takes place on a so-called parker, which is a square, where various obstacles are set up to be overcome. This form of horsemanship is also an official Olympic sport, thanks to which the riders get great development opportunities. Fans, on the other hand, can always expect a very big experience.

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Elegant and stylish

Dressage is a fundamental equestrian discipline that is dedicated to those who appreciate style and elegance. The rider must show extraordinary patience and perseverance, as the goal is to bring the fluidity of the horse’s movements to perfection. Of course, this is connected with long and arduous trainings, thanks to which it is possible to appear at prestigious competitions.

The rules of this discipline are very simple. Elegantly dressed rider, shiny horse and music. To its rhythm, both riders must perform harmonious dressage figures. The correct training of both contestants is the most important for success. In addition, it is essential to develop a common language to understand each other in any situation.

More adrenaline

Eventing is an abbreviation for Comprehensive Eventing. This equestrian discipline originates from endurance tests and exercises for cavalry horses. The rider is required to be confident in jumping and dressage figures. This sport is described as ideal for people who want to experience a higher dose of adrenaline.

It consists of three competitions. The first one is dressage, which tests the harmony of the pair and the harmony of the figures. The second competition is the cross-country. It is the most spectacular part of Eventing, because the horse and rider cover a distance of 1 to 8 kilometers, where there are several dozen obstacles. Among them there are jumps into water, hedges, and even carts with wood. The last test is jumping over obstacles in the classic version – in the park.

Western horseback riding

Western horseback riding is recommended especially for big Wild West enthusiasts. This riding discipline is practiced in a cowboy outfit, and all movements are mapped out from the work that used to be done with the help of horses on ranches. Many riders will enjoy the fact that western riding allows a certain level of communication with the dignified animal through gentle and delicate movements.

There are many disciplines within the Wild West style of riding, but the most popular is Reining. It is designed to test the obedience of a horse, which will smoothly perform figures in different parts of the track. Reining is very different from standard dressage, because the sequences are performed much more dynamically.

As you can see, riding a horse is not only jumping over obstacles, but also performing different kinds of figures and galloping on a few kilometers long track. Horseback riding is certainly one of those sports that can provide the participant and the spectators with masses of adrenaline and entertainment.

Featured photo: Freepik

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