There are a great number of ways people have found to compete for prizes with horses. Many people are familiar with jumping competitions. This is a competition where horse and rider must get over specified hurtles together. The rider walks the course just before competition and must make all the jumps in the correct order and in the shortest possible time. They are marked off if they miss a hurdle, jump an unnecessary hurdle or a bar is knocked off a hurdle because the horse could not jump high enough.
Dressage has been very popular for many years. In this competition the horse and rider must work together to perform a memorized series of moves. Many of these moves are very complex. They are done on a flat area. The horse must move at different angles and gaits throughout their turn of competition. Many of the moves involve various trotting speeds and changing the speed of the footwork between footballs.
Racing around an oval track to determine the fastest horse has long been a popular sport. Horse racing is exciting as the horses vie for first place. Released from the gate, the horses surge forward to get a leg up on their competition. Each one extends itself as far as possible while trying to eat up ground with every stride. Jockeys urge their horse to the greatest effort possible during the race.
Horse and rider must work together in each of these competitions. Dressage requires the rider to help the horse know the exact order of moves they must perform. If the horse goes off its pace, the rider must help it get back on track. Jumping competitions require riders to learn the track and guide their horse through the jumps. In horse racing, it is the rider urging the horse to do their best that makes them a winning team. Each of these competitions pits man and horse against competition to determine which team is the best.