There have been few talks and discussions, and yet more people are wondering if horseback riding, simply known as horseback riding, is a sport or not. Some people think that anyone can ride a horse because all you do is sit there and do something to control the animal. On the contrary, the riders try to deny this idea by indicating all the work done so that they can ride their horses without problems. And bet everyone, no one will accept which side is true or not. So if I want to get into a debate with this argument as an affirmative argument and have nothing in mind about horseback riding, I admit that it will be much harder to take that stance. Thus, as we try to unveil these facts about riding, we will also try to validate the idea of riding as a sport.
Yes, you read that right, riding is a sport. Really. The only problem we have here is how to convince everyone that they really consider themselves one. So what’s so special about this hobby that it became a sport?
Is riding considered a sport?
To answer this question again, the answer is absolutely Yes. Horseback riding or horseback riding is a sport and in fact is one of the oldest sports ever created. This is something that not everyone knows at all, because people usually watch some professionals who are watching on TV to ride and control the horse effortlessly. But, like any other known sport, for these riders to be able to ride completely on these horses, they have to suffer hours of continuous daily practice, muscle pain, bruises and other physical injuries that are encountered every day. Considering this activity as a valid sport, there are factors that have been considered to completely categorize riding as a sport. What are these factors?
A sport requires muscle strength, balance, agility, flexibility and general body awareness.
In the case of riding a horse or any other animal that is larger than humans, the physical presence should be around. The above factors should be exercised to control the movements of the horses and, by controlling, means using muscles of the whole body while moving in sync with the horse with which it is riding.
A sport means being in healthy competition.
This is the kind of competition that doesn’t just focus on who will be the winner. Being competitive starts between the horse and the coach himself. Having the feeling of competitiveness triggers the inner spark of being connected to the horse, and while you’re in a race, that feeling can cause something to ignite. However, success in one does not also mean success in the other, so riders tend to make more effort and try to be more competitive to achieve the desire to win on all other horses.
A sport needs skills and strategy.
Really, horseback riding requires mental exercise, as one can think about which safer route to take and which way to handle or control the horse. Also, inner communication with your horse and knowing what he thinks, needs a certain mental capacity that only those in the field can possess. In riding, riders also use their mental capacity to memorize a particular route and think of some strategies they can use to go through a given track without problems. Mental and bodily coordination is what they need especially in times when horses try to show unexpected behavior while competing and when changes in the field have occurred spontaneously.
A sport follows certain rules and regulations.
Like any other sport, riding is also controlled by some rules that players or riders must follow for both amateurs and professionals. Riding not only has competition rules, but it also has rules about clothing, artillery, pieces, size and type of horse and many other details that can affect the performance of riders and horses.
Riding as part of the Olympic Games
Considered one of the oldest sports ever created, horseback riding has been included in the Olympics since 1900, and finally, after 21 years of practicing the sport by riders around the world, a federation called Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI)) and is currently established as the governing body of the eight disciples: jumping, domestic dressage, event, driving, resistance, vault, reining and para-equestrian.
Today, the Olympics now focus on the three disciplines of horseback riding: jumping, dressage, and events. In this type of sport, both men and women can compete and be equestrian up to the Olympic level. Riding as a sport is unique and amazing, as it is the only sport that involves two athletes; the horse and rider. In this case, a deep relationship and a mutual connection should be established between the rider and the horse so that they can work as one.
Is rodeo considered a sport?
Today, horses and other livestock are also used in rodeo shows, apart from cattle raised for their strength and agility. Yes, rodeo is a competitive sport that originally came from the countries of Mexico, Spain, Central America and the United States. Being known as a sport in some provinces of the United States, associations and organizations have also been created: the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WRPA).
What is IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association)?
IHSA is an organization whose members are novice pilots preparing for a competition in which they wanted to participate. They register here, so they will have the opportunity to improve their skills by riding different horses each semester, which will allow them to cope and adapt to the skills and strength of each horse. After a lot of training, the IHSA member will be evaluated based on their performance and with that, they will be able to go out on the field and compete in different areas and levels.
What is the show jumping discipline?
Here, riders ride their horses around various obstacle courses, whether man-made or not, and simply jump over these routes without making any mistakes, or the safety of the horse and the rider will be in danger.
What do horses show in a dressage competition?
In dressage, riders guide their horses all the time as they perform various movements such as turns, traps and steps. Here horses look like dancing horses, which is why people call this type of horse ballet.