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If you are interested in equestrian competition, there is a lot of information that you need to know. Understanding the basics of equestrian competition will give you the knowledge that you need to find further answers to any questions that you might have. It is important to note that equestrian competition is divided into 3 different disciplines of dressage, jumping, and eventing. Each of these disciplines will have their own rules that you need to know about.

The Basics Of Dressage

Dressage is French for training and this discipline of equestrian competition is all about training the horse to demonstrate their natural gaits. Horses have 3 natural gaits of walking, trotting, and cantering. In dressage competitions, the horse will be trained to respond to a command which shows these gaits in a series of movements that have been prearranged.

During the competition, the horse and rider will be judged on their trot, canter, passage, pirouette, and piaffe. The rider will have to memorize the order of the movements and guide their horse through them without using their voice or a riding crop. The horse will need to immediately respond to the commands and be able to complete all of the movements correctly.

The Basics Of Jumping

The jumping discipline of equestrian competition is commonly known as show jumping. As the name suggests, this discipline is all about the horse jumping over different obstacles. The obstacles used will vary depending on the type of jumping that is being completed.

Regardless of the type of jumping, the horse and rider will need to make their way through a defined course. There is a path through the course that the rider will need to memorize and guide the horse through. To do well in jumping, the horse will need to clear the obstacles without knocking anything down and within a set amount of time.

The Basics Of Eventing

Eventing is a complete test of horsemanship and will generally take place over a number of days. This type of equestrian competition will include dressage, jumping, and cross-country events. The dressage and jumping events will take place in the same manner as complete dressage and jumping competitions, but will not be as demanding on the horse.

During eventing competitions, the same horse must be ridden for all the events. The cross-country section of the competition will be an endurance test which will include certain obstacles such as water jumps and hill descents. The cross-country section has replaced the old endurance test which was found to be too hard on the horses with the length and intensity being decreased. One of our participants is the daughter of a home remodeler nearby (click here), and she found her calling in the cross-country section, and has a newfound appreciation and inspiration for riding. That’s what we like to see!

When you look at equestrian competitions, it is important to note that there are 3 primary disciplines. Dressage and jumping competitions will only focus on these disciplines while eventing will include cross-country, dressage, and jumping. There are different skills required to compete in each of these disciplines with eventing being the most difficult for both the horse and the rider. It is important to note that the exact rules may vary depending on the competition.