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The rules of equestrian activities


Equestrian is a sport that oozes class. And if you’re wondering what its primary rules are and how it is played, you should read this detailed list, which has some helpful ideas that can give you a global view of the competition. These are the lines every Equestrian competition follows.



This is a sport that has been part of the Olympics Games starting with 1900 and has three types of events that have their own rules of equestrian at the Olympics.

Dressage is one of them, and it reveals the training of a horse in areas like impulsion, obedience, and collection. It shows that a horse can do on command the natural movements it does on the loose.

Show jump is a timed event where the horse and the rider jump over obstacles. Points are awarded based on how little the horse refuses to comply. And the last one is Eventing, which combines the first two events.


Show Jumping rules

The competition is judged by a jury that meets the FEI standards. A prerequisite is that the horses must be at least nine years of age and that a bell must be used to communicate with the rider.

The usual categories of jumps are the spreads, the water jumps, and the verticals. The rider can choose to combine them however he wants, in whichever order.

When the horse knocks down any of the obstacles, he is given four or more faults. The same applies to disobedience or if the hooves leave a mark in the lath around the water jump. Elimination is possible if the horse or the rider falls.



One of the most subjective judgments is in Dressage. Five judges sit outside the ring where it takes place, and they give elements a score from 0 to 10.

The best score is 100 percent, and the rules are strict. The competitor risks of being disqualified if all the hooves of the horse land outside the arena, or if the horse refuses to perform more than 20 seconds.

A rider can also be eliminated in the horse or rider falls. More penalties are given to those who go off track or do minor infractions, all of which are deducted from the overall score.



For accuracy, the judges sit at obstacles and observe the mistakes the team makes. This part of the Olympics has an optimum time, and penalties are deducted if not respected.

Other penalties are given if disobedience occurs and if the horse refuses to jump. This can happen only three times, the third time they will be eliminated, as it will happen if the horse falls.

If a competitor falls two times, he is also eliminated. An extra caution is given to the treatment of the horse. In case of abuse like excessive whipping, the rider gets disqualified.


What to wear

Just like any other sport, horseback riding comes with an attire of its own. It is essential that the clothes are comfortable and elastic and that the uniform won’t hurt the back of the horse.

The show clothes comprise of riding pants, a shirt, and a coat. The pants can be of any color and usually come in a tight fit, so the rider can bend and control the horse with ease.

The show shirts must have collars, and both men and women must wear ties. The coat can be of any color and material. Other equipment includes gloves, boots, and a helmet.


The horse

There’s not enough emphasis we can put on the treatment of the horses. Their well-being must be taken into consideration at all times, even in training, when transporting or when fed.

Both the horse and the rider must be fit, as all Equestrian federations state. Special consideration is given to the health of the animals and anti-doping rules, as all medicine is carefully regulated.

The horses must be treated humanely. And to do that, you have to pay extra caution. Even after their career is over, they should be taken care of and be taken regularly to the vet and to ensure they live in a comfortable environment.


Values and principles

This sport has been part of the Olympics for a long time and is still consistent today. They tend to focus on professionalism, and they don’t have any grey areas when it comes to the basic rules of equestrian.

The rules of horseback riding give equal chances to both sexes. It’s a genuinely equalitarian sport. Proper treatment is shown to the horse too since they are part of a team. All riders who disrespect their horses are eliminated.

Within this sport, team cooperation is encouraged, and the friendship spirit is what makes it so compelling and dynamic. The goal is to show off the values of both humans and horses.



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