Horse-related Sports

Here is a list of sports in which competitors ride on the back of a horse, are pulled along by a horse, or are involved in some way with horses.

Team Horseback Sports

equestrian jumping

  • Arena Polo is a scaled-down version of polo played on horseback on a considerably smaller field surrounded by walls on all sides.
  • Beach Polo is similar to polo but is played on a sand field with sideboards so the ball is always in play.
  • Buzkashi is a Central Asian sport similar to polo in which horseback riders try to drag a goat carcass toward the goal. There is a version called kokpar that is very similar.
  • Cowboy Polo is similar to conventional Polo, except that riders compete in western saddles in a smaller area with an inflatable rubber medicine ball.
  • Horseball is a horseback activity that is similar to polo, rugby, and basketball in that a ball is carried and shot through a high net to score.
  • Horse Soccer is a team sport in which an inflated ball is propelled through a goal while riding a horse.
  • Jereed is a historic Turkish team horse sport in which players throw rough wooden javelins at rival team members.
  • Pato is a horseback version of polo and basketball. It is Argentina's national sport.
  • Polo (Horse Polo) – a horseback team activity in which the goal is to strike a ball into a goal with a long-handled mallet.
  • Polocrosse is an equestrian sport that combines lacrosse and polo.
  • Snow Polo is a horseback version of Polo played on compacted snow on flat terrain or a frozen lake.

Equestrian (Horse Riding) Activities

  • Dressage is a discipline of horseback riding in which riders and horses perform a set of prearranged exercises from memory.
  • Eventing is a sport in which riders participate in three different sorts of races: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.
  • Show jumping is an event in which riders on horses attempt to jump cleanly through a series of obstacles in a given amount of time.
  • Cross-Country Equestrian – horse riders must leap over 30 to 40 obstacles in a set amount of time, receiving penalties if they exceed the time limit or if their horse refuses to clear an obstacle.
  • Endurance Riding is an equestrian discipline in which riders and horses race over extremely long distances.
  • Equestrian Vaulting is a horseback gymnastics and dancing discipline.
  • Equestrian riders steer their horses through a precise pattern of spins, loops, and stops known as reining.
  • Western Pleasure is a type of horse show competition in which horses are judged on their demeanor and poise.
  • TREC is a French equestrian sport in which the goal is to put both the horse and the rider to the test in three separate events.
  • Gymkhana is a multi-game equestrian event that showcases the abilities of horses and riders.

puszta horse show

Sports involving horses

  • Horse Racing (General) – equestrian sport in which jockeys ride horses or are pushed by horses.
  • Thoroughbred Racing - a horse racing sport in which thoroughbred horses compete.
  • Steeplechase — a horse racing sport in which contestants on horseback race over a long course with a variety of obstacles.

Horse Pulling Games

  • Carriage Driving is a sport in which horses or ponies are harnessed to a wagon, carriage, cart, or sleigh.
  • Harness racing is a type of horse racing in which horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a sulky.
  • Combined Driving – a driver on a horse-drawn carriage competes in three events: dressage, marathon, and cones.
  • Pleasure Driving is a horse and carriage activity in which horses are rated on their manners, performance, quality, and conformation.
  • Chuckwagon Racing – a chuckwagon is pulled around a track by four thoroughbred horses.
  • Ponies move a carriage with two riders around a track in Scurry Driving.
  • Skijoring — being dragged on skis by a dog, a horse, or a motorized vehicle.
  • Horse pulling is harnessing one or two horses to a weighted sled and pulling it as far as possible.
  • Chariot Racing — horses pull a chariot driver (extinct sport).

Rodeo-style horseback sports

  • Rodeo event in which participants and horses perform a clover-leaf pattern around barrels.
  • Chilean rodeo -- two horseback riders attempt to halt a calf.
  • Cutting is an American western-style equestrian activity in which a rider on horseback attempts to separate a few cows from their herd and keep them from returning.
  • Campdrafting is an Australian sport in which a horseback rider attempts to separate a herd of cattle and force it into a pen.
  • Roping is a rodeo event in which calves or cows are trapped by throwing a rope with a loop around them as rapidly as possible.
  • Tent Pegging entails a horse rider piercing, picking up, and carrying a target with a lance or a sword while they rush toward the target.
  • Team Penning — Each three-rider equine team's goal is to isolate three specific cattle from a herd.
  • Toros Coleados entails chasing a bull on horseback (also known as Bull-Tailing).

Other Horseback Sports

  • Cowboy Mounted Shooting entails shooting at targets while mounted on a horse.
  • Horseback Archery is the practice of shooting arrows at targets while riding a horse.
  • Equestrian Fencing – horseback sword fighting (extinct)
  • Orienteering on horseback – contestants traverse from start to finish through control points.
  • Jousting is a medieval sport in which participants on horseback with long lances strive to knock one other down.
  • Quintain - an ancient sport in which participants on horseback with long lances attempt to hit a stationary object hanging from a pole.
  • Horseback Boxing is a sport in which competitors fight while riding on the back of a horse. (a unique historical sport)

Other Horse-Related Activities

  • Horseshoes — participants toss horseshoes into ground stakes.

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