It’s all well and good to go horse riding, have lessons and go on a hack, but have you thought about jumping into something a bit more adventurous?
Here’s our top 5 exhilarating equestrian disciplines we think you could take a look at!
One of the most glamorous events in the equestrian world, its all bling, plaits and very beautiful horses. Most local and riding school events cater for any level, from lead-rein to the more experienced horses and riders, so fences are made to any height you feel comfortable with.
Plus you can win more than just rosettes, with the arrival of CashJumping™ you could walk away with some err… Well cash! But the most important thing is taking part, it really is! Every show is another experience and new lessons learnt. Most riding schools run summer competitions so remember to find out when it is!
This sport is under-represented, you need nerves of steel and good use of your seat because you won’t be using your reins much!
Horseball is a combination of rugby, polo and basketball, the ball has handles making it easy to pick up off the floor and handle in the game, to score goals you have to get the ball through a high net. At higher levels you can really see the rugby element of the sport, fast paced and awesome tackles, this sport is definitely for the brave and courageous! Again, many riding schools may have pony day sessions including a taster into this sport (starting off slowly of course!), but with less focus on the actual riding you may find your “stickability" could improve!
Oh such fond memories of the flailing arms, legs and little naughty ponies, children are just so fearless! This is yet another equestrian sport that really gets you riding, but maybe not quite the way your instructor would want you to!
Riding schools will usually hold a gymkhana at least once a year or even incorporate them in lessons to add a little competition between students, games like the flag race, ride & run, bending and the water race all aimed to get rider and steed thinking and moving. But don’t worry if your pony is stuck in first gear, there are many games that require precision over speed especially the egg and spoon race!
ADULTS, if you miss these good old times why not set up your own Gymkhana? A few shows may be hosting an adult version of these exhilarating games to, so no excuse to not feel young again!
(Who needs a flying mount anyway? Now where did I put my mounting block?)
4. Endurance Racing
A true test of fitness and stamina of both horse and rider, races at the highest level will leave you in the saddle for over 500 miles! (Definitely pack the Sudocrem!)
The good news is you can take part in pleasure rides with Endurance GB and progress to the races if you want to, so there’s no pressure. Pleasure rides around the UK can take you onto land previously closed off to the general public, Chatsworth pleasure ride is a great example!
5. Marathon Carriage Driving:
You may of seen the odd horse and carriage around, but this is EXTREME carriage driving! Be prepared tight turns, heart stopping moments and its not unusual to have the odd carriage tip over.
This marathon discipline is all about communication and team work, the driver can be controlling up to 4 horses at a time, assisted by the groom/s with navigation and leaning to balance the carriage to try to keep upright around challenging obstacles.
You can find some of the worlds greatest driving teams at the Royal Windsor Horse show and Sandringham Horse driving trials in the UK or competing at the World Equestrian Games. You could even take the reins yourself at your nearest British Carriage Driving ‘try driving’ centre.
So whether your new to the equestrian world or are after a change of direction we can offer all the essentials you need right here!
Heels down, shoulders back and keep training! Will we be seeing you at the top?