Horse Activities

There are a wide variety of horse activities one can participate for fun, for work, as a competitive sport, or for theuraputic purposes of human health and emotional development. Learn more about some popular horse sports below.

BARREL RACING

A Western riding sport and traditional women’s rodeo event, barrel racing is a test of speed, agility and skill, with horse and rider galloping around three barrels set up in a triangle in the fastest possible time.

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COMPETITIVE TRAIL/ENDURANCE RIDING

Competitive Trail and Endurance Riding are the “marathons” of equestrian sport. Both are riding competitions over a marked trail at distances designed to test the fitness of the horse or pony.

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CONTESTING AND GYMKHANA

What better way to hone one’s abilities on horseback than by playing riding-related games or competing in mounted tests of balance, speed and dexterity?

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DRESSAGE

Born of classical equitation, dressage is a time-tested system that teaches the horse to carry a rider with willingness, precision and grace.

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DRIVING

Experts believe that horses have been used as driving animals since around 2,000 BC. Today, besides being for pleasure, transportation or farm work, driving is the focus of many different sports.

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EVENTING

An ‘equestrian triathlon,’ eventing tests a rider’s mastery of three English disciplines and a horse’s versatility, athleticism and fitness. Here’s a basic rundown of this challenging sport.

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INTERSCHOLASTIC RIDING COMPETITION

Thanks to interscholastic and intercollegiate riding programs, students at the middle, secondary and college levels can enjoy time in the saddle by participating in riding as a sanctioned school sport.

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JUMPING

Jumping is one of the signature activities in English style riding, whether it is for foxhunting or competition.

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RANCH RIDING

A relatively new but popular division in Western riding competition, Ranch Riding uses patterns to show off a working horse’s abilities. The patterns might include obstacles such as gates, logs or poles and might also require the horses to work around cattle.

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REINING

A Western riding sport that originated in ranch work, reining requires the rider to guide his horse through a precise pattern of circles, spins and stops at a lope.

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WESTERN

Activities ridden in Western tack include many different disciplines or sports. The primary purposes of many of these disciplines are to test the skills, agility, speed and “cow sense” of the Western horse and/or the ability of his rider.

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