Equestrianism by definition refers not only to the sport of horse riding and activities associated with it such as races, jumping shows and other forms of recreation, but also refers to a general love for horses. Equestrians therefore, are not only skilled in the sport of managing a horse but are also known for their love of the animal.
People have used horses over the ages, usually as a means of transport, especially during the pre-automobile period, and have taken to the hobby of riding for pleasure over the years. Annual events such as those held at the Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, with the full involvement and support of the British Royal Family, proves how increasingly popular equestrianism has become.
Some of the common competitive sports involving horses include, but are not restricted to, reigning, show jumping, tent pegging, polo, vaulting, racing, dressage, and endurance riding. Some of the non-competitive equestrian events include trail riding, hacking, and hunting. Horses are also used as part of various therapeutic practices as they are gentle by nature and can be easily trained. They are commonly used to provide comfort to, and rehabilitate children and patients who require emotional and cognitive development assistance.
It is necessary for those who are riding horses to be trained with the greatest care on managing a horse. Some common injuries associated with falling off a horse range from leg fractures and dislocations, to head injuries, although arm fractures and dislocations are the most common, especially with young riders. However, equestrian activities are popular all over the globe, with equestrian sports such as polo and horse racing raking in millions in prize money each year. With a well-trained horse and an adept and skilled rider, equestrian activities are as lucrative as a career option as they are enjoyable as a hobby.