What is Eventing?

USEA Eventing Logo

Eventing is the equestrian equivalent to a human triathalon, consisting of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. This event is usually contested over three days, hence the other popular term for the discipline, three-day event. By performing each of these classes, horses that compete in eventing show their balance, stamina, and precision. The USEA is an educational organization committed to providing eventing enthusiasts with a competitive level suited to their individual skills. The USEA offers a strong and continuous training opportunity for an ever-expanding field of world-class competitors. Learn more about Eventing.

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What is Combined Driving?

Combined Driving

Combined driving is designed to test a horse’s or a team’s speed, stamina, obedience, and athleticism, in three distinct and demanding phases usually held over the course of three days, and is actually modeled after the mounted equestrian discipline of three-day eventing. Competitors can consist of a single horse, a pair of horses, or a team of four horses, and they are tested in three phases: dressage, marathon, and obstacle driving. The first day’s combined driving dressage class tests a single, pair or team in the areas of obedience, freedom and regularity of motion, and impulsion through a sequence of...

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What is Para-Equestrian?

The primary focus of para-equestrian sport is to provide educational and competitive opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Many disabled athletes compete, and even excel, in sports designed for the able-bodied, but para-equestrian in particular opens a world of competition to riders and drivers with even severe disabilities that might preclude them from other forms of sport, and does so while providing a structured, focused, and highly competitive environment. In para-equestrian competition, each rider or driver is classified according to his or her functional ability and competitors are grouped accordingly to ensure a level playing field. Competitions can include dressage,...

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What is Jumping?

USHJA Jumping

Jumping enjoys its place, both nationally and internationally, as one of the most popular and perhaps most recognizable equestrian events, aside from Thoroughbred horse racing.  At its highest competitive level, Jumping is recognized as one of the three Olympic equestrian disciplines alongside both Dressage and Eventing.  Essentially, what pole vaulting, high jump and hurdles are to track and field, Jumping is to equestrian sport. Spectator friendly and easy to understand, the object for the Jumper is to negotiate a series of obstacles, where emphasis is placed on height and width, and to do so without lowering the height or refusing...

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What is Endurance Riding?

Endurance is a long distance sport covering variations in altitude, terrain, and weather that tests the fitness and stamina of the horse as well as the athlete’s discipline and horsemanship skills. Periodic checkpoints occur throughout the competition to ensure the health and fitness of the horse and athlete. Given their ability to meet and master physical challenges, it’s no surprise that Arabians and their close kin dominate in this discipline. The American Endurance Ride Conference was founded as a national governing body for long distance riding and over the years has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a...

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What is English Pleasure?

English Pleasure

English pleasure can trace its roots to the bygone era when horses represented the primary mode of transportation to and from town. Society members prided themselves with showing off their elegant and finely-trained saddle mounts as they rode through the parks and into town, dressed in their finest hacking attire. These horses exemplified smooth-gaited movement, impeccable manners and superior tractability, making them a true pleasure to ride. In today’s show ring, English pleasure is divided into three distinct categories: hunter seat, saddle seat, and driving. English pleasure horses can be of any breed, but all horses must exhibit impeccable manners,...

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Getting the most out of your lessons

Riding Lessons

If you are anything like me, I work hard for my lessons, and want to get as much out of them as possible. Here are just a few tricks to help you get the most out of your time with your trainer: Come to the lesson prepared. Bring any equipment you might need to the arena (lunging equipment, riding whip, spurs, cooler, side reins, etc.), be on the horse and ready to start your lesson on time. Be honest with your trainer. This includes goals, fears, apprehensions, strengths, weaknesses, limitations, previous injuries, etc. This helps your trainer build a constructive...

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What is Dressage?

United States Dressage Federation

In today’s world, competitive dressage is recognized as one of the three equestrian Olympic disciplines, and as well, is a method for showcasing all levels of training in a competitive format. Currently, there are nine progressive levels of competition, open to any breed of horse and available for all levels of riders, in which the horse and rider perform compulsory exercises. Special classes such as musical freestyle offer creativity and individual expression for the exhibitors and have become spectator favorites. The United States Dressage Federation is the only national membership organization dedicated to dressage, a method of horse training in...

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What is Western Dressage?

Western Dressage

Western Dressage integrates the historically validated principles of dressage with the best of western stock horse tradition. It is a systematic and progressive system of training for the western horse and rider in traditional stock tack with the purpose of enjoying a safe, pleasurable, versatile, and useful working horse. The hallmarks of the Western Dressage Horse are usefulness, rideability, willingness, safety, pure gaits, lightness, calmness, and steadiness. A Western Dressage Rider should be attentive and tactful. They should use clear, effective, subtle aids coupled with a confident seat and light, responsive hands in communication with their horse. A Western Dressage...

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