Other Disciplines

The Daring of Driving

Driving is an unmounted equestrian discipline in which one or more horses pulls the driver(s) in a carriage. Like all equestrian disciplines, driving can be for recreation and pleasure, or for sport. Competitive driving competitions include four-in-hand, pairs, singles, and tandems. There are 3 types of driving competitions: presentation/dressage, marathon, and obstacle driving. A popular combination of these is called Combined Driving.

Combined Driving is the equivalent to ridden eventing (see English), testing the horse and driver’s courage, stamina, and versatility. The three phases include: Dressage (see above) in which the horse, while pulling a carriage, must demonstrate a series of movements and demonstrate willingness, obedience, balance, and suppleness; Marathon in which there are several phases, including the navigation of obstacles over varied terrain where each obstacle has a start and finish and is timed separately; and Obstacles (cones) in which the carriage, within a time allowed, must be accurately pulled through obstacles (cones with balls on top) that are set barely wider than the carriage itself. Any cones that are touched or balls dislodged results in penalties assessed.

The horse(s)/driver pair with the fewest penalties assessed over all components wins.

The Excitement of Vaulting

Vaulting is sometimes called gymnastics on horseback. Vaulting tests the control, obedience, and steadiness of the horse, while the vaulter, on top of the horse, demonstrates the gymnastic requirements of balance, flexibility, strength, and style. Vaulters compete both individually, men and women, and in teams.

A vaulting team is composed of several vaulters and one reserve vaulter, one “lunger” (controls the horse on a circle with the use of a long line attached to the horses’s bridle, called “lunging”), and one horse. The horse is “lunged” at a canter, left-hand on a circle with a minimum diameter of 13 meters. Both the individual and team vaulting competition consist of two parts: the compulsory test and the freestyle test.

 

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