All About Horses

Learn about the basics of horsemanship, breeds, disciplines, horse care, horse management and more.

Disciplines

Barrel Racing

Barrel Racing is primarily a rodeo event for women combining the horse's athletic ability and the rider's horsemanship skills in order to safely and successfully maneuver through a clover leaf pattern around three barrels in the center of an arena. In timed rodeo events, the purpose is to make a run as fast as possible, while the time is being clocked.


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Calf Roping

The goal of this timed event is for the rider to catch the calf by throwing a loop of rope from a lariat around its neck, dismount from the horse, run to the calf, and restrain it by tying three legs together, in as short a time as possible. When the tie is complete, the roper throws his hands in the air to signal "time" and stop the clock.


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Combined Driving

Combined Driving, modeled after ridden three-day eventing, has an extra challenge generated by the addition of the carriage. Drivers first present their horses in the dressage arena .The marathon is next. The final phase, the cones, tests the ability of the driver to clear a course of up to 20 gates at the required pace without incurring penalties.


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Cutting

In cutting, a horse and rider are judged on their ability to separate a single cow from a herd and keep it away for a short period of time. Once the cow is cut from the herd, the rider must give the horse its head. The cow instinctively tries to return to the herd, but the horse must defend the herd and hold the cow.


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Dressage

Dressage requires the horse and rider to combine the strength and agility of gymnastics with the elegance and beauty of ballet. The result is truly the best blend of sport and art. The highlight of a dressage competition is the Musical Freestyle in which the rider creates and choreographs to music an original ride of compulsory figures and movements.


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Endurance

In the modern Endurance discipline a horse/rider combination must complete a prescribed course in the fastest time possible, while meeting strict veterinary criteria. Distances of 50, 75 or 100 miles are covered in a single day. Endurance riding combines riding a challenging course with your equine partner and the fun and camaraderie of camping and socializing with a group of individuals who share your same interests.


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Eventing

Eventing brings out the harmony between horse and rider that characterize dressage; the courage and stamina essential for the cross country; the agility and technique involved in jumping.


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Foxhunting

Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of followers led by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Since the sport does not have the agricultural imperative to control the fox population, American foxhunting emphasizes the thrill of the chase in a beautiful natural setting.


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Hunter

Hunters over fences are judged on performance and soundness. Judges are looking for great jumping style, quality of both looks and movement, as well as willingness, manners, and suitability of horse and rider. Hunters on the flat are judged both directions at the walk, trot, canter, and sometimes the hand gallop. Movement, manners, and quality are judged at all gaits.


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Hunter Seat Equitation

Hunter Seat Equitation is a division judged on the ability and style of the riders over fences and on the flat. In over fences the riders are judged not only on their ability to negotiate a course of jumps on their horses, but also on their style and position. On the flat riders are tested at the walk, trot and canter at the lower levels, and at more difficult gaits in higher level classes.


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