ACTIVITIES @ SHONGWENI
Dressage is a competitive equestrian sport, defined by the IEF as “the highest expression of horse training” where ”horse and rider” are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements. Competitions are held at all levels. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse.
Jumping is the most popular equestrian discipline. It is competitive precision riding over a set course of obstacles, which although perhaps solid in appearance, are easily knocked down. If a horse and rider combination knock or a refusal occurs they incur penalties, which are marked against the competitor. The winner is the rider who can jump the course clear, and then jump at least part of it again, raised and this time against the clock, to be clear and faster than any other rider.
Affiliated Jumping competitions were first introduced in South Africa in the early 1950’s. The finer details of Jumping competition and jump construction have changed since those early days and are run according to a set of SASJ rules which follow very closely the FEI rules ensuring fair competition and safety for riders and horses alike.
It is a discipline that caters for young and old, where boys and girls, and men and women compete against each other. Both novice and experienced riders take part in Jumping competitions on most weekends in KZN.
The eventing discipline, also known as Horse Trials, evolved from the Military, where horses were expected to be calm and obedient on parade, responsive to their riders in battle, have enough stamina to travel at speed across all types or terrain, need to be able to judge any obstacle in its path and to be fit enough to repeat the whole performance again the following day. From this the sport of Eventing developed, encompassing three different disciplines namely Dressage, Cross Country and Showjumping, each with its own objective to test the overall ability of the horse and rider combination. The overall winner is the horse and rider combination with the lowest combined penalty points at the end of all three tests.
In summary Eventing is about Obedience, Courage, Stamina, Endurance and Speed making it a very exciting spectator sport.