Once an individual takes an interest in horses, there are many different opportunities for them to become involved in various events.
Horse racing is not for everyone. However, there are a lot of people who own race horses and use the services of professionals like trainers and jockeys to race them. This type of horse event is considered to be more of a business rather than a hobby.
There are different types of racing that horse owners can get involved which include:
- Harness Racing
- Thoroughbred racing
- Flat racing
As well as a few others.
English and Western Riding
These are two different forms of riding, and each has its own collection of events that can be participated in. Undoubtedly there are some major differences between these two categories of riding.
There are a lot of different events that can be enjoyed in the English riding category. These include:
- Classic Dressage: This revolved from the days of the calvary and the type of movements the horses used carried out. The main objective of this type of riding is that the horse and rider work together in harmony. When it comes to training, the dressage rider must learn how to develop a good seat. They must be able to be perfectly balanced through all the movements of the horse.
- English Pleasure
Many horse owners don’t have any desire to enter into organised events that deal with speed. What makes many of them happy is entering into English pleasure classes. There are some variations to this where the rider will ride the horse in hunt seat style or saddle seat tack. Normally events that are English pleasure are done in groups. The rider will be expected to go through the walk, trot and canter movements.
- Show Hunter
In years back horses were heavily relied on for hunting. This has been carried forward as an equestrian event called show hunter or the hunter-jumper events. During an event, the horse will go through a series of moves that showcases their ability to be a horse that would do well with hunting tasks.
Western riding has some major differences compared to English riding. It is considered to be much more rugged. The tack used has some substantial variations to it as well.
- Trail Horse
For those that own horses for pleasure they often want to do no more than trail rides. Some like to take this to the next level and enter competitions that will judge the best trail horses. These horses are tested on their ability to obey commands from the rider. The rider is judged on how well they execute those demands.
- Western Dressage
There are a lot of people that don’t realise that there are events for Western Dressage. It has some similarities to English dressage with one of the big differences being in the tack that is used. There are no restrictions on the breed of horses that can be used for the western dressage events. There are some basic manoeuvres the horse and rider are expected to perform. This can then advance to more difficult moves like responding to on the fly lead changes. Lateral movements will also be judged.
- Barrel Racing
Out of all the western type of events, barrel racing is one of the most popular. Horses have to circle barrels at high speeds and with precision without knocking the barrels over. This is a speed event where the best time and no faults wins.
Making the Choice
Those who wish to enter equestrian events have several decisions to make. They have to decide on which event appeals to them the most. Then they have to decide whether the breed of horse they own is going to fare well in those events. A lot will depend on the characteristics of the horse. The rider then has to be committed to making sure the horse is appropriately trained as well as themselves.
Horse ownership, no matter whether one is going to compete or not, is a big responsibility. It isn’t something that one can just enjoy on occasion. Constant care of the horse is required. Some will provide this through boarding the horse while others will be able to provide care for the horse on their own property.