Dressage, Eventing and Jumping may be the equestrian “star” events of the Olympics, but there are plenty of opportunities for riders and their horses of every age and skill to experience the “thrill of victory.” Here are three sports that you may want to consider trying.
Western Dressage grew out of the concerns of top Western trainers in the training horses to make suitable mounts. They had seen what the concepts of cadence, balance, and carriage from classical dressage had done for the English sports and wanted to incorporate them to help Western riders bring out the best in their horses. The Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) was formed to help codify these principles, establish an educational program and develop a method of testing.
The Northwest Chapter of the Western Dressage Association explains it best:
When we combine Western Horsemanship principles and Classical training to ride our horses, we develop a well rounded and balanced partnership. We build a brave well broke horse. Is this discipline only for western horses? No! This is an all inclusive discipline. Western Dressage will help ALL horses to develop and it will provide progressive, methodical training while giving valuable feedback methods for the Western Dressage Rider.
What is really unique about Western Dressage is that it’s a meld of both dressage and western whereby you get the Western horse that can stand quietly, not get easily spooked and have superior ground work combined with a connected horse that is engaged and balanced for the optimal partnership between horse and rider.
For more information, including local chapters, clinics and the actual tests, click HERE:
To see what Western Dressage is all about, view the video below:
This game is taking the equestrian world by storm, especially in the Midwest. Anyone of any age can play. You can ride any equine, including donkeys and mules. No special tack is required – or no tack! The game is played usually in 60m x 100 m arena and the rules are almost exactly like those in human soccer. The only differences are that the ball is much, much bigger (and softer) and there are certain rules as to who can kick the ball – at the beginner level, the rider can kick, but at the advanced level, only the horse can move the ball.
The goal (pardon the pun) of this sport is to develop a relationship with your horse, improve riding skills and have fun! For more information, contact the American Equine Soccer League website by clicking HERE.
To see Equine Soccer in action, view the video below:
COMPETTIIVE TRAIL RIDING
A Competitive Trail Ride (CTR) is not a timed event like endurance where the fastest time wins. It is probably closer to Eventing in that riders are out on the trail one at a time and negotiate obstacles. There are also mandatory vet checks. And, like Eventing, success comes from the trust and communication between horse and rider to safely complete the course. A CTR is usually held on a weekend and can run one, two or even three days. The competitors usually cover a distance of 15-40 miles per day.
In the United States and Canada, as well as in other countries, there are several organizations that sanction competitive trail riding. In the United States, they include North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC). To find out more information, click HERE.
To see an overview of a NATRC Competitive Trail Ride, view the video below:
You may never win a Gold medal, but you and your horse will have lots of fun and build an even better relationship.
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 at 10:10 am and is filed under Horse Stalls. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.