What Are The Different Types Of Horse Competitions?

Equestrian sports competitions are amazing in their beauty and excitement. For the first time horse competitions (chariot races) were included in the program of the Olympic Games in 680 BC. Today, horse competitions are one of the most spectacular and interesting types of competitions.

horse competitions

What types of equestrian competitions exist? There are many and one of the most popular in western style is Barrel Racing of course. Where a horse & rider complete a cloverleaf pattern for speed. Other events include stylish events, race events, and even horses pulling buggy style events. 

To begin with, let’s say that the term “equestrian competitions” refers to the various ways of riding, sports, and exercises using riding and the participation of horses. During the riding, the rider actively interacts with the horse. The horse is controlled by the movement of the rider’s weight, movements of his legs, as well as the weakening or tension of the reins. The rider’s voice can also affect the movement of the horse. There are a number of main types of competitions: Racing, Showjumping, Trail riding, Polo, Rodeo events, Endurance riding, Dressage, Team chasing, Equestrian Vaulting.

Official horse competitions

The Olympic Games include the following types of equestrian competitions. These are dressage, show jumping and triathlon. Equestrian sport competitions at the modern summer Olympic Games first appeared at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris and have since been included in the program of each subsequent Games. Triathlon and dressage were introduced at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm.


The competition where riders can show the ability to manage their horse at different speeds. During dressage, horses must move in a straight line, in a circle and diagonally.

Show jumping

Competition shows the ability of a horse and a rider to overcome a series of various obstacles (usually from 10 to 16) installed in the arena. Obstacles can reach 2 m in height or in width. These can be bars, ditches with water, combinations of barriers at close range, etc. It is necessary to complete the distance within a certain time; For knocked down barriers, falls, the refusal of a horse to jump and other mistakes are awarded penalty points. The winner is the rider with the smallest number of such points.


The most challenging of the Olympic equestrian sports, it is testing the skill, courage, flexibility and endurance of a horse and its rider. Triathlon competitions continue for three days and include three competitions: riding in the arena, field trials on rough terrain and jumping. During field trials, the horse and rider must overcome both artificially constructed and natural obstacles. Penalty points are awarded for the horse’s refusal to jump for a set time, as well as rider errors.

What kind of non-Olympic competition is the most spectacular?

Probably each of the types of equestrian competitions has its own peculiarity, but perhaps one of the most noisy and spectacular is the rodeo competition. The rodeo includes several types of competitions, held either individually or as part of a major competition: horse racing on an unsettled and saddled horse, horse racing around barrels, etc. If the horse does not have enough “frisk” – the judges can schedule a new start on another animal.

When should you start preparing a horse for a competition?

If you don’t engage with a horse and teach it to elementary teams from an early age, as it grows up and grows physically, it will become increasingly unpredictable and capricious, and taking into account its considerable size and remarkable physical strength, it will be very difficult to reinvent. In addition, an untrained horse can be a serious danger not only for its owner but also for the people around him. And this concerns not only the preparation of the horse for the competition but also the banal understanding between the horse and the rider, without which good riding is impossible.


At the present stage, equestrian competitions are a very popular sport that attracts not only riders but also spectators. The equestrian sport continues to develop and create new disciplines of the competition.



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.

Recent Posts