Equestrian Disciplines – Horse Training Disciplines Worth Knowing


Barrel racing

Barrel racing is rodeo event originally developed for women; the origin is thought to be Texas (where else?) The originally runs were either a figure eight or the cloverleaf pattern, though it changed to simply be the cloverleaf pattern which had the popular vote.

The purpose of barrel racing is to complete the pattern as fast as possible. The timer for a run starts as the horse and tide cross the start line and ends once the entire barrel run is completed and the horse and rider cross the finish line. The only rule for the sport is the fastest time wins, as long as you complete the course correctly.


Dressage basically means training in French, so it is the art of training your horse and controlling it. This discipline requires a high skill of horse riding and is considered the highest expression of horse training by leading equestrians.

The point of dressage is for the horse to be so well trained that they respond to a bare minimum of direction by the rider and perform the pre determined set of movements.

Dressage is even an Olympic event, and competitions often consist of individual tests that increase each time with difficulty.  Some movements in these tests include the Passage, a trot that seems to have the horse pause between each stride or a Pirouette which is a 360 turn in place. This is an art form and can be as enjoyable as playing the online pokies NZ has to offer. When you have time, look up some Dressage and learn exactly how disciplined a horse can be.

Show Jumping

Show jumping is one of the most well known and popular equestrian sports today. This forms part of the English riding events, but is practiced worldwide and is also part of the Olympics.

There are few classes under show Jumpers, Hunters, Jumpers or hunt seat Equitation classes.

4Hnters are judged by how well they meet the standard set for manners and style, where as Jumpers are scored numerically on whether they attempted a jump, clear it and finished the set course in the required time.

The Equitation class is the judging of the rider’s abilities on the horse, and is similar to the Hunter style in scoring.


Another well known equestrian discipline often thought to be a sport of the rich, famous or royal. Thought to have originated in the Middle East, either in the 6th century BC or up to the 1st Century AD, many peoples and civilisations have played some variation of this sport since then.

Polo is one of the few equestrian team sports, and the objective is to drive a small ball into your opponent’s goal, and thereby scoring.

Polo is popular in the Modern age with its most common players being found in England, India, USA and most well known in Argentina.


Racing is the most popular equestrian sport, with thousands of people following the races, horses, jockeys and trainers avidly. Plenty of bets are made and loads of fun and excitement is had with a day at the races.

With a history going back to Ancient times, horse racing in one form or the other has been with mankind for a long time. Horse racing can include chariot racing, jump racing or the most well known Flat racing.

The Art of Horse Training


So you want to get a horse and train that horse? Believe us when we say it is not all black beauty or The Horse Whisperer, it takes a lot of dedication and time to correctly train a horse. Yes some people are naturals with horses, but for the mere mortal non horse whisperer, we give you some basics to get you started before the intense higher level training efforts.

Before starting the training, remember horse care – as we have discussed before, a health horse is a happy horse. So make sure you get the basics right, like shelter, feed and grooming. This simple basic of making sure your horse is as healthy as absolutely possible, will greatly assist when trying to train the horse.

The top two basics to focus on before intense training starts:

Groundwork – Before jumping on your horse and riding off to the sunset, you should start with groundwork. Meaning you do not even get on the horse! Just like you’d practice before playing online roulette NZ games for real money, do some research, or hire a professional to train you and start out with your new adventure in horse training.

Try getting these basics of groundwork training done before moving on:

Leading – lead your horse from point A to B

Touching – touching your horse acclimates it to being around you and being touched all over by you. Start with stroking the horse with both your hands and move on too grooming your horse. Grooming is essential to creating a friendship with your horse, and horse love good grooming.

Pressure – training your horse to yield to physical pressure when applied to certain body parts. For example pushing backwards on the horse’s nose so that the horse yields and moves backwards. Or applying a small amount of pressure to the chest to make the horse take a step back.

Indirect pressure – this is training your horse to respond without apply pressure. The movements are similar to the direct pressure training but requires more energy from you to enforce your direction on the horse. This takes patience and skill from both you and the horse, so take your time.

Groundwork can be extremely challenging but also very enjoyable, so start with basic groundwork skills and conquer them – then move on to the more advanced groundwork skills.

Horse manners are similar to groundwork; there are a few basic manners a horse should be taught in order to ensure the rest of the training goes as smooth as possible.

– Enter a trailer – this goes in hand with being lead, as a horse needs to put easily in a trailer safely for travel or for emergency situations

– Stay – Getting a horse to hold position is part of indirect pressure and is relevant to both your and the horses safety. If a horse does not listen to commands and stay as ordered he could hurt both you and itself.

– Allow them to be caught – You need to train your horse to be caught when called, as a horse that will not allow itself to be caught is basically impossible to train. This is also urgent for emergency situations like evacuations.

– Stand for hoof inspection – as a horse’s hooves should be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks, it makes life a lot simpler if a horse is trained to allow its feet touched anytime.

How to Catch a Horse That’s Hard to Catch


Not being able to catch your horse when you need to is a very frustrating experience. Chasing it down, or tricking it into letting you approach is not a great way to begin the time you are going to be spending together either.

It really is worth spending a while teaching your horse to be caught safely: after all, not only does having to out-think and out-maneuver a horse that doesn’t want to be caught tax your time and patience, there may be a time that it is vital that you do so quickly, too. (more…)