Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Equestrians: More than Just Horse Riders

Horseback Riding

Equestrians: More than Just Horse Riders By J. Foley

Horses have played a vital role in the history of mankind. They have served several purposes from transportation to heavy cavalry. Nowadays due to the development of technology horses are no longer used anymore. They can be mostly found working for humans in ranches, farms, circuses and driving carriages for amusement rides. Although horses are not as vital as they were back in the days the tradition of riding them did not falter. Equestrians were regarded as nobles in Rome who are members of the cavalry. Nowadays they are riders who participate in a number of equestrian sports.

Equestrians in this day and age are more known for equestrianism. It refers to the ability to ride and drive horses. This definition does not just include the use of horses for recreational activities and sports but also for working and practical uses. Contrary what most people would think the term refers to other skills not just riding them for equestrian sports.

Equestrians before

Horses were used in variety of purposes. They were both used in war and peaceful pursuits. They were used from transportation, agriculture and warfare. In Rome Equestrians were regarded as elite. Horses were expensive at that time so owning one meant that you were rich and does not need to do manual labor. They were members of a social upper class in Rome. This class was most often referred to as knights. They were both a military and a political group because horsemen received financial compensation from the government.

As Rome expanded it relied on its allies for cavalry. There were no use from equestrians and they lost their military functions. They did not engage in war anymore but their titles still remain and indicate nobility. The equestrians were rich and governed the provinces. At that time senators were equal to equestrians.

The senators dominated the magistrate offices but were forbidden to operate business and gain commercial income. The equestrians on the other hand continued to invest in marketing and tax farming companies. Conflicts arose between the two of them. Equestrians made as much money as they can while senators notice rebellions due to overtaxing. During civil wars the two elite collaborated and their orders were defined as reforms were done.

Equestrians today

There are popularly known for participating in equestrian sports during Olympics. Like before horse back riding is reserved for the rich. Even today horses are still expensive and prized.

Equestrian events include dressage, show jumping and eventing. Equestrians should be able to make the horse carry out natural movements on request while running loose during competitive dressage. It is also referred to as "Horse Ballet". Its goal is to develop a horses' athletic ability and its initiative to perform to maximize its potential.
Show jumping is a timed even where equestrians are required to jump over a series of obstacles with the fewest mistakes. Riders and their horses should be able to go through the obstacle with the least knocked over portions of obstacles.

Eventing is the combination of dressage and show jumping. The horse and the rider have to go through a series of fixed obstacles such as stone walls, water, logs banks, ditches with the fastest time possible.

Although the role of equestrians has changed through the centuries it still holds that aura of nobility that it once enjoyed in medieval times.

Article Written By J. Foley

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