Alternative Equestrian Sports You May Consider TryingEquestrian related sports are ideal for maintaining physical fitness as well as maintaining an excellent sense of mental well-being. There is a large variety of riding activities for all ages and levels of riders. Some equestrian sports are not as well-known as others such as driving, mounted orienteering, competitive trail riding, polo, and horse agility.
Driving can involve a wagon, carriage, sleigh, cart, or simply long-lining from the ground. Driving can be performed for training, pleasure, or for shows. Driving is a great alternative for riders that have injuries or conditions that prevent them from riding or riding several horses a day.
Mounted Orienteering is an equestrian sport that requires riders to use a compass and a map to find their path to various checkpoints while crossing rough terrain. The goal is to have the lowest time possible. While this sport requires that the rider knows how to use a map and a compass, it is not an extremely difficult sport. However, it is challenging!
Competitive and Casual Trail Riding
Competitive and casual trail riding involves riding a horse on trails, paths, and forest roads. A trail ride can be of any length of time and can range from hours to days. Trail riding can be informal and be done individually or with a small group. In competitive trail riding, horses are judged on fitness, performance, pace, and manners. A strong horse/rider relationship is crucial for success in competitive trail riding.
Polo is a team sport where players on horseback attempt to score goals against the other team. There are four riders on the polo teams, and they use wooden mallets to drive a ball into the other team`s goal. Polo requires more training for the rider and the horse although any breed of horse can be trained to do polo.
Horse agility is a competitive sport, that does not involve riding, where the horse and unmounted handler work through a timed obstacle course. Since the sport does not require any under saddle training, horse agility is ideal for any age and breed. It is also perfect for increasing confidence in young or hesitant horses. It can be a great workout for the handler as well!