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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 ?
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.
Whatever your ability, everyone gets a warm welcome and the best of those who offer horse-riding holidays and short breaks are fully approved by the British Horse Society (BHS).
Let's Ride: The Rosemond Hill Collection offers a game experience that has previously been overlooked--we saw that with the success of our first horse-riding game, Let's Ride," states Doug Clemmer, CEO of ValuSoft, Inc.
MADONNA goes Nazi-chic as she copes with her horse-riding injuries - the singer looked more like 'Allo Allo's Herr Flick than Pop Queen in her all-black outfit with matching sling.
VOLUNTEERS are needed to help disabled people who love horse-riding.
But I didn't need either to decide what to do with my afternoon in the capital, for I was there to sample the regal pursuit of horse-riding.
Friends said she was "very lucky" not to have suffered a more serious injury like fellow actor Christopher Reeve who was left paralysed for life after a similar horse-riding accident.
A HORSE-RIDING instructor from a village near Coventry is teaching lessons with a difference as an antidote to Christmas stress.
A DEMONSTRATION of a new horse-riding technique is being given at Warwickshire College next month.
A sheriff will decide today whether a centuries-old ban on women taking part in a horse-riding gala is lawful.
Reeve, 52, best known for his role as ``Superman'' and later for his advocacy of stem cell research, died Sunday of complications from an infection - nine years after he was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident.
Golf, horse-riding and self-defence will soon be part of the everyday curriculum