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art of riding and handling a horse. Horseback riding was practiced as far back as the Bronze Age and was thereafter adapted to commerce, industry, war, sport, and recreation. Diverse styles of riding developed, and the saddlesaddle,
seat or pad to support the rider on an animal, chiefly a horse. The saddles mentioned in the Bible are generally considered to have been saddlecloths. The ancient Greeks sometimes used saddlecloths, but they had no saddles and often rode bareback.
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, as well as the stirrupstirrup,
foot support for the rider of a horse in mounting and while riding. It is a ring with a horizontal bar to receive the foot and is attached by a strap to the saddle.
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 and other riding aids, were manufactured along with the other appurtenances to horseback riding. At the two extremes of riding are the jockey's riding style, sacrificing comfort and security in the interest of speed, and the cowboy's (western) style, more relaxed for long hours of work. Riding as a skilled sport developed from the style of mounted knights in the medieval period. The so-called academy style is popular in the E United States as well as in Europe. Riding as recreation has become increasingly popular in the United States, particularly in metropolitan and suburban areas.

Horse shows, originated by Ireland's Royal Dublin Society (1864), offer riders a chance to test their skills in competition. Contests are held among hunters, jumpers, ponies, and three- and five-gaited horses; a test of overall training and obedience, known as the dressage event, is also held. The major horse show in the United States is the National Horse Show (originated 1883). Equestrian events have been held in the Olympic games since 1912. Olympic competitions include dressage, jumping (Prix de Nations), and a three-day all-around competition that involves dressage, jumping, and endurance. A significant number of teams in international competition are military teams. See also horse racinghorse racing,
trials of speed involving two or more horses. It includes races among harnessed horses with one of two particular gaits, among saddled Thoroughbreds (or, less frequently, quarterhorses) on a flat track, or among saddled horses over a turf course with obstacles to
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See M. Gordon-Watson, The Handbook of Riding (1982); W. C. Steinkraus and M. A. Stoneridge, The Horse in Sport (1987).

References in periodicals archive ?
The DG appreciated the centuries old traditional event horse riding and lauded high level fitness and professional skill of riders.
With 53 branches and an online store, Horseland has the country's largest network of stores selling horse riding equipment and supplies.
Highlights of the tour include cycling on dirt trails used by wild animals and local herdsmen, hiking through dense pine forest to conquer the majestic 2656 metre high Altan Olgi Mountain and horse riding through gorges alongside gushing rivers.
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Stokesley RDA Group offers people with disabilities the chance to participate in horse riding.
Mair suspects that horse riding began about 3,400 years ago and trouser making came shortly thereafter in wetter regions to the north and west of the Tarim Basin.
The Contract comprises the removal of existing wood chip floor covering and timber barriers around a horse riding practice arena.
On arrival, crews found a woman, believed to be 30-years-old, who had collided with a tree whilst horse riding.
The Queen has visited a horse riding club in Brixton, south London, with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
He envisioned a sort of equestrian community or club for horse-riding aficionados, which could be a school for horse riding and sports of dressage, show jumping, and vaulting built to professional, international standards.
A 75-YEAR-old man has taken up horse riding after 40 years of cab driving - and is now certainly living up to his name.
For those prepared to take up the challenge, Wales offers riders the choice of horse riding holidays in some of its most beautiful and undiscovered parts.