Olympic Equestrian Disciplins


Equestrian events were first included in the modern Olympic Games in 1900. By 1912, all three Olympic disciplines still seen today were part of the games. The following forms of competition are recognized worldwide and are a part of the equestrian events at the Olympics:
Dressage (“training” in French) involves the progressive training of the horse to a high level of impulsion, collection, and obedience. Competitive dressage has the goal of showing the horse carrying out, on request, the natural movements that it performs without thinking while running loose. One dressage master has defined it as “returning the freedom of the horse while carrying the rider.”
Show jumping comprises a timed event judged on the ability of the horse and rider to jump over a series of obstacles, in a given order and with the fewest refusals or knockdowns of portions of the obstacles.
Eventing, also called combined training, horse trials, the three-day event, the Military, or the complete test, puts together the obedience of dressage with the athletic ability of show jumping, the fitness demands the cross-country jumping phase. In the last-named, the horses jump over fixed obstacles, such as logs, stone walls, banks, ditches, and water, trying to finish the course under the “optimum time.” There was also the ‘Steeple Chase’ Phase, which is now excluded from most major competitions to bring them in line with the Olympic standard.

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3 Responses to “Olympic Equestrian Disciplins”

  1. Brittany Says:

    Yeah, this is an issue for saddle seat drnviig (and riding) horses, I’ve noticed myself. What you describe with your hands sounds good, but make sure you soften quickly with your outside hand as soon as he offers to bend in the direction you want. Then soften both for a half-second, and start the sequence again, asking for a little more each time, giving releases the second he softens. My Eng. Pl Morgan doesn’t like to bend to the right in harness (or anytime really..lol). I begin by bending in the stall using treats to get him to bend at different levels (out to the side, downward, and finally in-and-downward toward his point of shoulder.) I feel that this helps losen the muscles in the neck, shoulder, and even ribcage. Then, working in the longlines, walking behind the horse, you can get the same bend (Try a straight-rein so you can really tell what he’s doing sometimes drawlineshide bending problems.The bend I look for is when a horse bends his neck to the side, then softly tips his nose down toward the point of should, with his forhead facing that diection to the side and down. (Many horses will bend but cheat..just turn their head without flexing soft enough at the poll to to tip the nose and forhead down, which is what my horse wants to do to the right). As far as getting a true bend, you may not be able to get a true full-body bend as would be the standard for a dressage person, out of a saddle-type horse very easily, especially in harness. I honestly have never seen a saddle-type horse bend using his body that way in the show ring. Not saying it wouldn’t be great, just haven’t seen it.Shallow curves in the longlines are good. If they don’t get it in the lines, walk up and work on the bending at a stand still again, then the walk. If your horse isn’t too sensative to a whip, a buggie whip can be used to tap the hip as you ask for the bend with your hands to reinforce, or simply a cluck. In harness it’s hard to correct them, especially because many of them develope the habit of tracking with their head left and body right, or vice versa. In harness, I do spiral-in and spiral-out exercises a lot to help the Eng. Pl horse take it slower and make him bend properly.Sorry for the length Hope that helps!Yvonne

  2. Logaan Says:

    My daughter is 2 1/2. I plan on stntriag her in lead line soon. Because she is still so little, my husband holds onto her leg and torso while I lead whenever she is on a horse. When she is ready to be led without someone holding onto her, I will definitely invest in a quality helmet. I think all children should be wearing helmets whenever they are mounted in-and-out of the show ring. I think this is why our hunter divisions are so popular among junior exhibitors.I’ve noticed in some of the catalogs that they are stntriag to make helmets that resemble saddleseat derbies. I’m hoping to see more of these in the show ring among our junior exhibitors and lead line riders.

  3. Robson Says:

    I guess it just bothers me that *anyone* doesn\’t wear a hemelt, but yes, little kids really should have them.The hunter/jumper world put up a huge fuss when their rules were switched to require actual safety hemelts with chinstraps and everything, but they\’ve adapted.In the highest levels of dressage and eventing, since Olympian Courtney King-Dye\’s serious accident earlier this year, we are starting to see people wear hemelts rather than top hats. I hope it catches on.

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