It’s not altogether clear when man first domesticated the horse. Paleolithic Cave paintings over 30,000 years old depict horses, but the painters were most likely painting their food source rather than their transportation source. Rare pale-ontological finds in Kazakhstan point to the domestication of the horse first occurring around 6000 years ago when wild ponies were domesticated and used as a means of transport.
The competitive nature of man makes it likely that shortly after domestication of horses saw them used as transport and work animals, that their riders soon found ways to compete, show off an improve their riding skills. Racing of one kind or another almost certainly sprang up directly after mankind first sat on the horse, there is evidence of Chariot racing by the Romans as far back as 2500BC.
As the types (pony, horse, heavy horse) and breeds of horse grew, so did the types of horse sports that were participated in. Where horses were used for transporting heavy loads, pulling competitions were created. In areas were herding of animals was the most common horse use, various tasks that simulated this ranching work were made into competitions.
With the horse used less and less as a work animal across the world, more and more they are used solely for pleasure riding, and horse sports. Horse Sports are great fun to watch and compete in and are popular throughout the world.
Here we are detailing many of the most popular modern horse sports in the Western world, as well as some from the past and from more obscure regions of the world including Mongolia and Afghanistan.
We hope you enjoy reading about them.