Activities based on horse riding include dressage, jumping, racing,
hunting and pony trekking, as well as simple riding for pleasure. There
are also team sports on horseback, such as horseball and polo .
More detailed information on these activities can be obtained from the
specialist organisations listed below (for
polo, see other team sports).
Most of these forms of riding are carried out outdoors. Ordinary
riding, hunting and pony trekking are essentially country activities,
though people do ride in parks in larger towns.
jumping and dressage often take place in indoor arenas. They also involve a large element of competition.
British Horse Society www.bhs.org.uk/
British Show Jumping Association www.bsja.co.uk/
British Equestrian Federation www.bef.co.uk/
British Horseball Association www.britishhorseball.co.uk
Nottingham Horseball Club www.nottinghamhorseball.org.uk
Horse & Hound
Find a local riding group
or club (see organisations above).
See if there are
introductory sessions at your local club or riding school..
Consult books or magazines
on different types of riding and horse-based sports..
Check in your local library/paper
for more information.
Skills and people
People of all ages
and both sexes take part in horse-based sports. All these activities
require a degree of
skill in controlling the horse being ridden. Jumping, dressage and
racing are particularly demanding in terms of skill and quality of
You can ride for pleasure on your own, and many people do so. But
others like to ride with friends or family, as a social activity.
Most of the other horse based sports are usually done as part of a group
or class of some kind.
People with different degrees of horse
skills often ride together, as do those of different ages and both
sexes. For competitive activities, skills and abilities need to be
Equipment or clothing
A horse or pony is an obvious essential for these activities, together
with a saddle and other tack for the horse, and a hard protective hat.
The horse and tack can generally be hired by the
learner as part of the cost of lessons. Serious riders usually own their own mounts.
Many riders wear special
clothing and boots, and these are essential for hunting and the
A place or facilities
Much riding is done in the countryside, on public roads as well as the
networks of bridleways and green lanes.
Training for beginners, and
for specialist skills like dressage and jumping, is usually done in special
outdoor fields or indoor arenas, which are generally privately owned,
sometimes by riding schools.
Pony trekking facilities are usually
linked to holiday centres of various kinds.
Horse owners need to
have or find facilities for stabling, feeding and care of their animals,
including shoeing and veterinary services.