The arabian horse is known for its versatility, which means that they can be used in various disciplines of the equestrian sport. They compete in dressage, jumping and western sports, but especially excel in the race and endurance sports due to their great stamina and quick recovery.
We think it is very important that our horses are ridden in sport, read more about the disciplines we are involved in below:
Western riding originated in America. It can be summarized in three main classes: westerndressage, speed games and the part in which working with horses and cattle is central. Dressage includes all aspects that together reflect the cowboy when he and his horse had to do the work on the ranch: Showmanship at Halter, Trail, Western Pleasure, Hunter under Saddle, Western Horsemanship, Western Riding, Reining Versatile Horse. The speed games: Barrel Racing and Pole Bending are all about the speed and maneuverability of the horse. Cutting, Working Cowhorse and Team Penning are parts that belong to the working element.
We want to focus on 5 parts, namely;
Showmanship at halter:
Showmanship at Halter does not look at the exterior of the horse, but at the person who presents the horse. The jury prescribes a certain pattern that the combinations must perform one after the other. In the test, walk, trot, extended trot, turns and backwards can be requested. Also, somewhere in the test, you are asked to put the horse 'square' and present it to the jury. The assessment concerns the following matters: Presentation of the horse, overall picture, care of the horse, equipment, presentation of the horse, way of showing the horse when stationary and in motion and alertness.
Trail & trail in hand:
The literal meaning of Trail is 'trail in the wild'. For this part a pre-specified test is performed or ridden by hand. The test consists of a track with various simulated obstacles from nature. The horse must have complete confidence in the rider and not be startled by the obstacles. The obstacles taken at Trail are judged by the jury. The way the horse reacts and the aids the rider gives are central to the assessment at Trail.
At the Western Pleasure the gaits of the horse are shown. The participants enter the arena together and must remain on the wall or on the inner court. The transitions of walk (walk), trot (jog or trot) and canter (lope) are judged by the jury and the posture of the rider and horse. The three different gaits are shown on both the left and right hands. Combinations in Western Pleasure are penalized for too high a speed, wrong gait at the requested moment, resistance of the horse, too deep or too high neck position of the horse or break or gait (falling out of the relevant gait). The horse must be ridden on a loose rein, without excessive or disturbing corrections from the rider.
Western Horsemanship is the part that is often underestimated. It's somewhat like a dressage test. Exercises are requested that must be performed very precisely within a small workspace indicated by pawns. It asks for a walk, jog, lope, and backup. The aids given must be minimal and the horse must perform these aids immediately and without resistance. The emphasis is on riding skills and performing the test with precision in harmony between horse and rider.
Classical Dressage is the oldest way of training horses. The aim of classical horsemanship is to develop the horse to the maximum, within its capabilities. Using a wide range of straightening bending exercises, the horse is trained gently and without pressure, so that the horse can develop into the elegant, proud, confident appearance that it is by nature.
During the dressage test, the different gaits: walk, trot (driving light and sitting) and canter are requested. The transitions and side passages must also be showen by rider and horse. In the lower level tests, stretching the neck is regularly requested, while in the highest competitive sport some 'college exercises' appear in the tests: the passage, the piaffe, the pirouette and the canter changes.
In the Netherlands we know the following levels:
B = base
L1 + L2 = light
M1 + M2 = Moderate
Z1 + Z2 = Heavy
ZZ light + ZZ Heavy
Endurance riding is the sport of competitive long-distance riding. Distances vary from the entry level of 16km right through to a 160km in a day. No matter the distance, the foundations of the sport lie in good horse management and strict welfare controls. In an endurance ride the winning horse is the first one to cross the finish line while stopping periodically to pass a veterinary check that deems the animal in good health and fit to continue.
Indispensable at the competitions is a groom team, who take care of the horse and rider during the course at the various points and vet gates. Especially when riding at a high pace and in hot weather, the horse should be cooled during the course and be able to drink enough. The grooms will be standing with bottles of water and drinks at the grooming points. In addition to the groom team of each rider, the coach, physiotherapist and farrier are also present at the major competitions and championships.
A sport where you learn a lot about and from your horse and probably even more about yourself. Stamina, trust, cooperation and knowledge of your horse are the keywords when riding endurance!