English Equestrian Sport The art of riding horses is as old as civilization. The equine has been man's "beast of burden" for as long as we have records for. Before there was cowboys and western riding, there was a more classical, proper style of riding. This is now classified as english. The three main types of english riding, dressage, show jumping, and eventing, are all equal in disipline and difficulty.
Dressage is simpley defined as the altimate communication between horse and rider. The dressage horse must be strong, devoted, and intelligant. The rider must be trained to know every aid and the correct position. If the riders position is not 100% accurate, then the aids are wrong, causing the horse to not move correctly. Many viewers think dressage is boring because the horse and rider gracefully flow around the arena without any indication of difficulty. Dressage is the one disipline that takes the most training and education.
Show jumping is a very exciting branch of the english style. A team of horse and rider have a allowed time to run a coarse of jumps. Faults are given to the team if a rail is knocked over or for time penalties. The jumps are numbered and scattered around an arena. The rider must get a stragity to find short cuts and save time. The jumps include, one stide in-and-outs, bounces, and massive oxers. The horse must be fast, confident, and fine boned. The rider as well must be knowledgeable, confident, and quick witted.
Eventing is even more exciting than show jumping. A team of horse and rider are given a time allowance to gallop through a course of cross country jumps outside. Every kind of jump is used in cross country. They use jumps into water, jumps in water, jumps up and down hills, step jumps, huge natural jumps, not to mention platform jumps. The eventing horse must be brave, confident, fast and intelligant.
The rider must be confident, brave, and trusting to his or her horse. Many accidents happen when a horse is galloping across a stretch and must jump huge obsticles. The riders are all required to wear pertective vests.
Even though all of these disiplines take many years to learn, they are enjoyed by many. Dressage, Show jumping, and Eventing are equal in difficulty, but very different in style.