How To Become an Equestrian AthleteOn September 30, 2021 by Brent Bates
Equestrian sports are those that involve riding horses. It is a wide field that includes racing, jumping, navigating obstacles, and generally showing off the skills that you and your horse have mastered. There are a lot of advantages to becoming an equestrian athlete. You create a special bond with your animal, and you can continue competing for many decades. Here are some of the first steps.
Spend Time Around Horses and Other Equestrians
Owning a horse is very expensive, so you might want to start out taking lessons at a stable to start learning the basics. This gives you the opportunity to decide whether you want to continue learning the sport, in which case you will probably need a horse of your own eventually. Spending time at the stable also allows you to learn more about caring for horses and to become part of the equestrian community by building relationships with other riders.
Obtain the Right Equipment
If you begin competing, the right equipment is very important to be compliant with the rules. More importantly, safety depends on having the right horse riding equipment, such as boots, riding gloves, and a helmet. Your horse’s safety and comfort also come into play when choosing tack.
Choose the Type of Riding You Want To Do
You have a lot of choices as there are eighteen riding styles regulated by the United States Equestrian Federation. For example, there are three different equestrian sports contested in the Olympic Games: dressage, eventing, and show-jumping. Eventing is a combination of a jumping competition and endurance sport over untamed terrain, while dressage is a choreographed display of disciplined but interpretive movement by both you and your horse. Show-jumping is more or less what it sounds like, a competition in which you and your horse navigate an obstacle course by jumping over barriers using both speed and precision.
You may want to observe several different equestrian sports first before you figure out which you want to try.