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Horse Riding Disciplines

Horse Illustrated publishes content about a variety of horse disciplines. The various disciplines covered include: cattle events, dressage, driving, endurance and competitive trail, eventing, halter and showmanship, horse racing, hunter/jumper, reining, saddle seat, speed events, vaulting, and western pleasure. This overall category showcases articles from all covered riding types, and our subcategories breaks down the topics in the individual riding styles. Find articles that can help with training within those disciplines, news, true stories from competitors, and more within each subcategory. We love highlighting real people with their stories of triumph and tribulations, so that every rider can learn from others' experiences.

Many times, I have seen riders canter to the first jump of a course and have it be less than stellar. But then they land, change their canter, and lay down the ride of a lifetime. I have named...
Split reins are by far the most versatile type of reins used in western riding, but they can be a bit challenging to master. The two separate reins can get tangled, dropped, or become uneven while riders struggle to...
Marked by fluid lead changes around a cone-marked course, western riding is a challenging class for all-around competitors. But with skill, preparation and careful navigation, you can guide your horse to a penalty-free score. Here, trainer Bruce Vickery shares...
Developing a special partnership with a horse takes equal parts hard work, perseverance, and passion, but once formed, such a bond can last a lifetime. For Japanese-American cowgirl Miko Moriuchi McFarland and her American Paint Horse, Sparkle Grady One...
A versatile ranch horse can do anything his rider asks—including pulling gear or livestock with a rope connected to the saddle horn. Versatility ranch horse competitions mirror real-life ranch tasks that include a rope-drag obstacle in the ranch trail...
The type of saddle you first sat in does not need to be your last. Changing riding disciplines can help you renew your interests and find new joy with the horses you love.“Everyone goes through a process,” says dressage...
The Thoroughbred horse is the fastest in the world, and it’s no wonder. Since the 1700s, Thoroughbreds have been bred for pure speed.First developed in England strictly for the purpose of racing, the Thoroughbred began with three foundation stallions:...
When competing with horses, there are a lot of things you can’t control. You can’t control the schedule. You can’t control who the judge is. You can’t control the arena conditions. You can’t control the weather. You can’t control...
To reach the point in the reining arena where you’ll slide to a stop, you must first build up speed and guide your horse in the rundown. But what happens when your horse thinks that heading straight across the...
Of all the ranch versatility events, ranch riding has gained the most popularity; it’s also become the most competitive. If you’re on a quest to achieve high marks in ranch riding, three-time American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Versatility Ranch...
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