Para-equestrian competition at the international level, including the Paralympics , are also governed by the FEI and offer the following competition events:. Horse shows are held throughout the world with a tremendous variety of possible events, equipment, attire and judging standards used. However, most forms of horse show competition can be broken into the following broad categories:.
In addition to the classical Olympic events, the following forms of competition are seen. In North America they are referred to as " English riding " in contrast with western riding; elsewhere in the world, if a distinction is necessary, they are usually described as "classic riding":. Western riding evolved from the cattle-working and warfare traditions brought to the Americas by the Spanish Conquistadors , and both equipment and riding style evolved to meet the working needs of the cowboy on ranches in the American West.
Though the differences between English and Western riding appear dramatic, there are many similarities. Both styles require riders to have a solid seat, with the hips and shoulders balanced over the feet, with hands independent of the seat so as to avoid disturbing the balance of the horse and interfering with its performance. The most noticeable feature of western style riding is in the saddle, which has a substantial tree that provides greater support to horse and rider when working long hours in the saddle.
The western saddle features a prominent pommel topped by a horn a knob used for dallying a lariat after roping an animal , a deep seat and a high cantle. The stirrups are wider and the saddle has rings and ties that allow objects to be attached to the saddle.
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Western horses are asked to perform with a loose rein, controlled by one hand. The standard western bridle lacks a noseband and usually consists of a single set of reins attached to a curb bit that has somewhat longer and looser shanks than the curb of an English Weymouth bridle or a pelham bit.
Two styles of Western reins developed: The long split reins of the Texas tradition, which are completely separated, or the closed-end " Romal " reins of the California tradition, which have a long single attachment on the ends that can be used as a quirt. Modern rodeo competitors in timed events sometimes use a closed rein without a romal.
Western riders wear a long-sleeved shirt, denim jeans, boots, and a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. Cowboy boots , which have pointed toes and higher heels than a traditional riding boot, are designed to prevent the rider's foot from slipping through the stirrup during a fall, preventing the rider from being dragged—most western saddles have no safety bars for the leathers or automatic stirrup release mechanism.
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A rider may wear protective leather leggings called chaps. Clean, well-fitting work clothing is the usual outfit seen in rodeo , cutting and reining competitions, especially for men, though sometimes both men and women wear brighter colors or finer fabrics for competition than for work.
Show events such as Western pleasure use much flashier equipment, unlike the English traditions where clothing and tack is quiet and unobtrusive. Saddles, bits and bridles are ornamented with substantial amounts of silver. The rider may add a jacket or vest, and women's clothing in particular features vivid colors and even rhinestones or sequins. Western horses are asked to have a brisk, ground-covering walk, but a slow, relaxed jog trot that allows the rider to sit the saddle and not post.
The Western version of the canter is called a lope and while collected and balanced, is expected to be slow and relaxed. Working western horses seldom use a sustained hand gallop, but must be able to accelerate quickly to high speed when chasing cattle or competing in rodeo speed events, must be able to stop quickly from a dead run and "turn on a dime. Horses, mules and donkeys are driven in harness in many different ways. For working purposes, they can pull a plow or other farm equipment designed to be pulled by animals. In many parts of the world they still pull wagons for basic hauling and transportation.
They may draw carriages at ceremonies, in parades or for tourist rides. As noted in "horse racing" above , horses can race in harness, pulling a very lightweight cart known as a sulky. At the other end of the spectrum, some draft horses compete in horse pulling competitions, where single or teams of horses and their drivers vie to determine who can pull the most weight for a short distance.
In horse show competition, the following general categories of competition are seen:. Roping includes a number of timed events that are based on the real-life tasks of a working cowboy, who often had to capture calves and adult cattle for branding , medical treatment and other purposes.
A lasso or lariat is thrown over the head of a calf or the horns of adult cattle, and the animal is secured in a fashion dictated by its size and age. In spite of popular myth, most modern "broncs" are not in fact wild horses, but are more commonly spoiled riding horses [ citation needed ] or horses bred specifically as bucking stock.
There are many other forms of equestrian activity and sports seen worldwide. There are both competitive events and pleasure riding disciplines available. Handling, riding and driving horses has a number of health risks. Because horses are pound beasts, and they are animals with minds of their own, they are still capable of hurting people. Should the human give the highly trained horses a reason to want to hurt the human, they absolutely will, and there is absolutely no way that the human can stop the horse.
However, this is a rare occurrence, as horses are such forgiving animals, and it is almost always the persons fault. A study in Germany reported that the relative risk of injury from riding a horse, compared to riding a bicycle, was 9 times higher for adolescents and 5. Other findings noted that helmets likely prevent traumatic brain injuries. In the United States each year an estimated 30 million people ride horses, resulting in 50, emergency department visits 1 visit per riders per year.
Approximately hours of experience are required to achieve a substantial decline in the risk of injury. The survey authors conclude that efforts to prevent equestrian injury should focus on novice equestrians. The most common injury is falling from the horse, followed by being kicked, trampled and bitten. About 3 out of 4 injuries are due to falling, broadly defined.
Furthermore, the study noted that in Germany, one quarter of all sport related fatalities are caused by horse riding. Some possible injuries resulting from horse riding, with the percent indicating the amounts in relation to all injuries as reported by a New Zealand study,  include:.
Among 36 members and employees of the Hong Kong Jockey Club who were seen in a trauma center during a period of 5 years, 24 fell from horses and 11 were kicked by the horse. Injuries comprised: 18 torso; 11 head, face or neck; and 11 limb.
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Most frequent injury sites are the lower trunk Within this study patients were treated and released Horseback riding is one of the most dangerous sports, especially in relation to head injury. Statistics from the United States, for example, indicate that about 30 million people ride horses annually. Of those, about 60 die each year from their brain injuries. Head injuries are especially traumatic in horseback riding.
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About two-thirds of all riders requiring hospitalization after a fall have sustained a traumatic brain injury. The use of riding helmets substantially decreases the likelihood and severity of head injuries. When a rider falls with a helmet, he or she is five times less likely to experience a traumatic brain injury than a rider who falls without a helmet.
Once a helmet has sustained an impact from falling, that part of the helmet is structurally weakened, even if no visible damage is present. Tools Cite this Export citation file. Similar Items Modern horsemanship; a new method of teaching, riding and training, by means of pictures from the life.
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