Is Horseback Riding Considered A Sport?

There is enjoyment and fun in riding horses and many people crave for a taste of this feeling. Watching horses is in itself; great fun. Riding it yourself would be more fun than you would dream of at any time. Still, there remains a debate on whether riding is a sport. I am one of the enthusiasts to whom riding is a hobby where I find great fun.

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So is horseback riding considered a sport? According to the Australian Sports Commission, as is the case with many other national commissions, horse-backing is a human activity capable of achieving results with physical exertion and skill, which is competitive and acceptable as a sport.

Why Is This Even A Question That Needs To Be Answered?

Although it has existed for a long time in history, it remains a controversial sporting activity. Some people assume it is too easy to consider it a sport. Most of these people do not have a real experience with horseback riding. They are among the majority who only view this activity on television. This is the closest they have been to horse riding.

The professionals make it look easy and so effortless that most people consider it an easy task. You may think horses carry unskilled drunken human cargos while watching from a far. We are rarely exposed to the technicality, training, sore in muscles, bruising, and chafing involved. The most horrific part is the mental challenge the riders endure during the activity.

According to the Australian Sports Commission, as is the case with many other national commissions, horse-backing is a human activity capable of achieving results with physical exertion and skill, which is competitive and acceptable as a sport.

The Australian government leads many others in acknowledging this fantastic activity as a sport. Horse athletes are some of the toughest around the world across the board. They get dirty, endure the falls, they sweat, fall in mud, and get sore. They are tossed around, broken, and risk serious injuries in the sport. They still keep coming back for more.

If you have heard about the debate against horse-backing being a sport, you are not alone. There are many reasons used to oppose its recognition. However, there are more exciting issues related to the phenomenon to support the choice to call it a sport. Here are a few reasons

Why horse-back riding is a considered a sport

  1. Teammates

The over 1,000-pound beasts are participants hence teammates. Although they may not be intentional in their actions, as they rely on people for control, they are trusted to take instructions like in any other sport. They use a different language, which is instilled in training over time but give the riders the confidence the trust them with their lives. The best part is; they deliver and bring enjoyment to the crowds watching.

  1. Intense and Consistent Training

Riders put in many hours of training and schooling into their horse. In fact, it takes them more time to learn the art of their sport that with every other athlete. Training takes years to complete because of the safety precautions. Accidents may be detrimental hence the need for all the time possible to align the rider with the horse.

  1. Activity

Horse-backing is not a passive activity of just sitting there like riding a donkey. Some people imagine that horse-backing involves just sitting there, which is not true. The fact is; sitting on a horse idle will not generate any exciting movement. We create impulsion and regulate strides to help the horse to balance. Moreover, there are many ways to affect the horse’s movement such as jumping hurdles. Riding horses is therefore more involving that most people would assume.

Related Questions

How much does it cost to own a horse?

Many new comers and horse lovers who want to own horses are quick to rush into it without considering the long-term financial implications. The fact is you will be investing as much as you would with your car expenses. The cost of owning a horse is equivalent to a regular car.

How is horse-backing beneficial to my health?

Horse-backing is a physically intense sport with muscle tension and bruises just like many other common sporting activities. You stand a chance to grow physically stronger if you become a serious rider. You will build your core strength, upper body, and leg strength. This makes your special as not many people can attain this in their lifetime.

How do I train with my horse?

You need an expert trainer to take you through the lessons on horse-backing. It is not safe to learn the routines by yourself. Horses need a specific language of which you will have to learn and practice until you can communicate effectively.

Is every horse breed trainable?

Different horses from different environments have varying capabilities. Not all horses are designed to sport. The best sporting horses are cross-breeds of the largest, fastest, and strongest breeds. Others are cute and mostly inactive, as they do not have the muscle strength and speed to compete with the rest.


The debate in support of horse-riding as a sport is not easy. The reason is that most people have little knowledge of what entails to ride a horse. They deem it as simple and uninvolving rather than an active act of physical competitiveness. To such people, it would be important to get them close enough so that they experience firsthand attachment to sporting horses. They will realize it requires a lot of skill, physical strength, and most importantly; long hours of training to get it right.

People knock other sports they actually have never played. Rodeo is one of the most intense and physically demanding sports in the world. They suffer more injuries then most sports combined and still continue to perform. While most people are throwing or kicking a small ball around they are trying to ride a 1,000-1,500 lb animal that loves to go. Think twice before you say riding horse shouldn’t be considered a sport. There is much more then meats the amateur eye.


Hello and welcome to our horse news site. Hope you find any information helpful. We are a fun loving family that has always loved our horses we have now welcomed a new mini horse to your family for our daughter he has become quite the character.

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