Changing Seasons Bring New Equestrian Activities
Written by Loryn Lamport, our Equestrian Manager.
It’s an exciting time of year! All of our “snowbirds” and their “snowhorses” are starting to arrive at the Equestrian Center for some winter fun from their summer homes up north! Horse-related activities and events are abundant in our area this time of year, across many different disciplines.
Popular Horse-Related Activities
Do you know the different types of equestrian activities and what they mean? Here’s a quick guide to refresh your memory:
Eventing: Eventing is an equestrian sport where competitors take part in a series of horse-related activities – usually dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.
Dressage: Dressage is where the horse and rider perform a pre-determined series of movements from memory on a flat, enclosed arena. This sport is often compared to figure skating, ballet or gymnastics, on horseback. Riding and training a horse in this manner develops obedience, flexibility, and balance. For this reason, riders with different backgrounds and competitive goals often use dressage to improve the horse’s overall performance in other activities.
Cross-Country: Cross-country involves the horse and rider galloping over natural terrain and jumping over a series of obstacles along the way, with penalty points for disobedience, falls, and rider errors. These obstacles consist of solidly-built objects such as stone walls, as well as natural objects commonly found in the countryside like ponds, streams, logs, hills, and ditches.
Show jumping: Show jumping is an English riding equestrian event where the horse and rider jump over a series of stadium fences and other obstacles in an enclosed arena, with penalty points awarded for errors. The courses are made up of colored fences, which are knocked down if they are hit. Show jumping is a timed event that takes place both outdoors and indoors year round.
Hunter shows: Hunter horses are judged on their manner, fluid movements, and correct jumping styles. At hunter shows, both the horse and the rider are judged on how they look while going over the jumps. The course is usually made up of 8-12 obstacles that simulate those found in a hunting field like rails, brush, stone walls, gates, chicken coops, etc.
Equestrian Events Coming Up in Ocala
- November 15-17, 2013: California Dressage Society – Dressage Getaway
- November 23: Dressage, Show Jumping and 3 Phase Schooling Show at the Florida Horse Park
- November 29 – December 1, 2013: RMI Mid-Florida – Hunter/Jumper Show
- January 15 – March 24, 2014: 2014 Ocala HITS Winter Circuit
We will keep posting events as they are disclosed to us. We look forward to hitting the trails again around beautiful Golden Ocala!