Equestrianism, or horse riding, encompasses various disciplines, including dressage, show jumping, and eventing. It involves learning to ride and communicate effectively with a horse, aiming for harmony, precision, and excellence in different competitive contexts or for leisure. Riders must develop a deep understanding of horse behavior, care, and management alongside their riding skills.


  • Enhances physical fitness, balance, and coordination
  • Builds a strong emotional bond between the rider and the horse
  • Teaches responsibility and empathy through caring for an animal
  • Improves mental health by spending time outdoors and interacting with nature


  • United States Equestrian Federation (USEF): Offers resources for riders, competition guides, and training tips.
  • YouTube: Channels like SmartPak and EventionTV provide tutorials on riding techniques and horse care.
  • Book: “Centered Riding” by Sally Swift is a classic text on improving riding skills and horse-rider communication.
  • Local riding schools: Offer lessons and horse leasing options.

Best Age to Start

Children can start riding lessons around the age of 5 or 6, with pony rides available for younger kids. Starting young helps develop a natural feel and confidence around horses.

Equipment and Materials

  • Helmet: $50-$200
  • Riding boots: $50-$150
  • Gloves: $20-$40
  • Riding lessons: $40-$75 per session
  • Horse lease: Varies widely; full leasing can cost $200-$500 per month

Starting Tips

  • Begin with professional lessons to learn proper technique and safety.
  • Spend time around horses to learn their behavior and how to care for them.
  • Consider leasing a horse before owning to understand the commitment involved.

How Often to Practice

Riding 2-3 times a week is recommended for beginners to build skills and confidence. More frequent riding can accelerate progress and strengthen the rider-horse bond.

Requirements/Tasks for Mastery

  • Compete in and place in regional and national competitions in your chosen discipline.
  • Demonstrate advanced horse care and management skills.
  • Achieve high levels of communication and harmony with your horse.

Famous Equestrians

  • Charlotte Dujardin, British dressage rider, Olympic gold medalist.
  • Mark Todd, New Zealand eventer, and two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Equestrianism requires dedication to both the sport and the well-being of the horse. Mastery involves achieving excellence in riding skills, a deep understanding of horse psychology, and a commitment to ethical animal care and management.