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Equestrianism

The meaning of «equestrianism»

Equestrianism (from Latin equester, equestr-, equus, 'horseman', 'horse'),[2] commonly known as horse riding (British English) or horseback riding (American English),[3] includes the disciplines of riding, driving, and vaulting. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.

Horses are trained and ridden for practical working purposes, such as in police work or for controlling herd animals on a ranch. They are also used in competitive sports including dressage, endurance riding, eventing, reining, show jumping, tent pegging, vaulting, polo, horse racing, driving, and rodeo (see additional equestrian sports listed later in this article for more examples). Some popular forms of competition are grouped together at horse shows where horses perform in a wide variety of disciplines. Horses (and other equids such as mules) are used for non-competitive recreational riding such as fox hunting, trail riding, or hacking. There is public access to horse trails in almost every part of the world; many parks, ranches, and public stables offer both guided and independent riding. Horses are also used for therapeutic purposes both in specialized para-equestrian competition as well as non-competitive riding to improve human health and emotional development.

Horses are also driven in harness racing, at horse shows, and in other types of exhibition such as historical reenactment or ceremony, often pulling carriages. In some parts of the world, they are still used for practical purposes such as farming.[4]

Horses continue to be used in public service, in traditional ceremonies (parades, funerals), police and volunteer mounted patrols and for mounted search and rescue.

Riding halls enable the training of horse and rider in all weathers as well as indoor competition riding.

Though there is controversy over the exact date horses were domesticated and when they were first ridden, the best estimate is that horses first were ridden approximately 3500 BC. Indirect evidence suggests that horses were ridden long before they were driven. There is some evidence that about 3,000 BC, near the Dnieper River and the Don River, people were using bits on horses, as a stallion that was buried there shows teeth wear consistent with using a bit.[5] However, the most unequivocal early archaeological evidence of equines put to working use was of horses being driven. Chariot burials about 2500 BC present the most direct hard evidence of horses used as working animals. In ancient times chariot warfare was followed by the use of war horses as light and heavy cavalry. The horse played an important role throughout human history all over the world, both in warfare and in peaceful pursuits such as transportation, trade and agriculture. Horses lived in North America, but died out at the end of the Ice Age. Horses were brought back to North America by European explorers, beginning with the second voyage of Columbus in 1493.[6] Equestrianism was introduced in the 1900 Summer Olympics as an Olympic sport with jumping events.

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Equestrian at the 1980 Summer OlympicsEquestrian at the 1956 Summer OlympicsEquestrian at the 1976 Summer Olympics
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Equestrian at the 2000 Summer OlympicsEquestrian at the 2004 Summer OlympicsEquestrian at the 1968 Summer Olympics

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