Worldsport

Guide to equestrian disciplines

Updated 1020 GMT (1820 HKT) January 15, 2015
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REINING: Originating from the moves that a cattle horse makes while performing its duties, reigning involves horses running approved patterns, divided into different maneuvers. The discipline is closely linked to the spirit of the Wild West and so sporting your cowboy hat and spurs are a must. JOCHEN LUEBKE/AFP/Getty Image
ENDURANCE: Endurance tests the speed and endurance of a horse as well as its ability to cross different kinds of terrain. Although a long-distance competition against the clock, the emphasis is on finishing in a good condition rather than finishing first, making it a real survival of the fittest. NASSER YOUNES/AFP/Getty Images
VAULTING: Vaulting involves multiple athletes performing artistic moves on the back of a cantering horse, who is guided by a long rein to ensure it remains steady. As well as demanding an excellent physical condition from the vaulter, a harmonious relationship with the horse is needed, while an animal with a penchant for dance often helps. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/GettyImages
DRESSAGE: A discipline where horse and rider perform at a walk, trot and canter delivering a routine from memory, it is considered the highest expression of horse training. It is also the only time in the world you will see a horse dancing to classical music. Not to be missed. BAS CZERWINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
SHOW JUMPING: Probably the best known of all the disciplines, show jumping involves horses and their riders having to jump over a number of obstacles varying in difficulty, with penalties incurred for each one knocked down. Fences are often flanked by eye-catching decorations -- as seen here at the London 2012 Olympics. JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImage
EVENTING: Comprising of dressage, cross-country and show jumping, eventing really is the triathlon of the equestrian world. With horses required to dance, run and leap, the discipline determines which is the nag for all seasons.
ROLAND THUNHOLM/AFP/Getty Images
DRIVING: Riders sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse, a pair, or a team of four, which face three trials -- dressage, marathon and obstacle driving. Given that horses were driven long before they were ridden, they've had many years of practice for this event. Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for FE