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Five Sports Horses Participate In


polo1. Polo
A team sport played on horseback, the objective of polo is to score goals against an opposing team. A score is made by swatting a small white plastic or wood ball with a long-handled mallet, into the opposing teams' goal. The sport is played at speed on a grass field up to three hundred yards in length. Each team consists of four players and their four mounts; however arena polo only requires three members and is a slightly more athletic and gymnastic version with more maneuvering and shorter plays. Horses are changes between periods, or chukkers, due to intensity and speed. The rules are specifically designed to protect both horse and rider during play, including a rule which states that no player can be left handed. Price William, the Duke of Cambridge, recently won a charity game of Polo while on his honeymoon with Cate, Duchess of Cambridge.

2. Harness Racing
Harness racing is a race in which the horse runs at a specific gait while usually pulling a two-wheeled cart called a sulky. They run at either trotting or pacing; pacing constitutes 80-90% of the harness races conducted in North America. Race start most commonly from behind a motorized starting gate, where the horses line up and are lead forward to the starting line. The sulky, the two-wheeled cart used, is equipped with bicycle wheels and the driver carries a light whip used for signaling the horse. Whip usage is strictly controlled and some venues, such as races in Norway, forbid their use.

3. Rodeo
A working still turned competition, rodeo has become a competitive sport based on the working practices of cattle herding. The competitions are based on the skills necessary to do ranch work. These competitions are designed to test the skills and speed of the cowpokes that participate. A rodeo generally includes tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding, and barrel racing, and are divided into either rough stock or timed events.

4. Tent Pegging
Tent pegging is an ancient calvary sport that refers to a mounted game with ground targets which involves using weapons on horseback. It is also one of the equestrian skill at arms games. A mounted horseman will ride at a gallop, during a game of tent pegging, and use a sword or lance to pierce, pick up and carry a small ground target or series of ground targets. Ring jousting, in which a rider passes the point of his weapon through a ring, lemon sticking, where a rider tries to stab or slice a lemon, quintain tilting and mounted archery are all various forms of tent pegging that may be seen at a competition.

5. Show Jumping
Also known as stadium jumping, opening jumping and jumpers, show jumping is part of the English riding equestrian family which also includes dressage, hunting, equitation, and eventing. Jumpers are held over a course of obstacles that includes verticals, spreads, double and triple combinations, with many turns and changes in direction. The goal is to jump over a set course within the time given without knocking anything down or suffering a refusal.


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