Styles Of Horseback Riding

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Horseback Styles Horseback riding has been a popular activity for more than two centuries. Horses were mostly used for work early on, but it gradually came to be a fun activity/sport. There are two main styles of riding, Western and English, which have differing histories, tack, and events. The history of the styles of riding has affected how they are experienced today. Western riding originated from the cowboys in the “Wild West.” They used their horses for herding cattle and bringing back any cattle that might have wandered from the herd. The cowboys also took their horses on long trips that could take more than a day, so they learned to pace their horses and rest when their horses were too tired. The cowboys’ clothes were comfortable, …show more content…
The most popular event for Western riding is barrel racing, which is, like it sounds, a race around barrels. The barrels are set up in a triangle about thirty or forty feet apart, and the rider must make the horse go in a clover pattern between and around them, ending by racing back to where they started as quickly as possible; the person with the fastest time is the winner. Another popular Western event is reining, which is sort of like a dance with the horse. Certain patterns are called out, and the rider has to make their horse do these patterns without using too much of the reins. The horse has to make circles and do quick stops and spin on their backend. The rider’s cues to the horse must be very small in order to get a good score. The endurance event is a really long race, testing the horse’s endurance. The rider and horse must pace themselves so they don’t burn out early on in the race. Trail riding doesn’t sound like a competitive event, but it is. It is actually done in a ring, with a course of gates, poles, mini pools, mailboxes, and an assortment of other things that the rider must maneuver their horse through with as few mistakes as possible. For example, the rider might take their horse through a gate by opening and closing it while on the horse’s back, or they might have to lead their horse to walk sideways or backward between poles on …show more content…
The most popular English event is jumping; show jumping takes place in an arena, while cross country jumping takes place outside on a long trail. There are a different number of jumps depending on the rider’s skill level. In show jumping, the jumps are usually poles that form an x or horizontal poles on blocks, and they are raised or lowered depending on the horse and rider. In cross country jumping, the jumps are made of wood, water, trees, benches, and bricks, and they cannot be moved up or down. Cross country jumpers must finish the jump set fastest, while show jumpers must finish it the most cleanly in order to win. Dressage is another popular English event. It is a lot like Western reining, but more proper, elegant, and dance-like. The horses prance, spin, and canter in a routine put together by the rider to music. The horse may even bow at the end of the performance. Eventing is a combination of show jumping, cross country jumping, and dressage. The rider and their horse compete in each of the three events, and whoever has the smallest number of penalties at the end of the three rounds is the winner. English racing uses an English saddle with very short stirrups and is the fastest horse event. Like the name suggests, it is a race against all of the other competitors.

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