Many people have heard the word equestrian when combined with horse. But what is a horse equestrian? Anyone who is proficient in the riding of horses is known as an equestrian. It is the act of riding that determines the use of the word. Not only does one have to be a rider, but they have to be very good at it to be considered an equestrian. It does not matter whether the horse is being ridden for work purposes or for show, anyone who is good at riding is known as a horse equestrian.
Starting with the basics, a person who can take a wild horse and break them into an animal that does not mind having a person on their back is also considered an equestrian. They cull wild horses from overly populated wild herds and teach them to be ridden by humans. This is a dangerous as well as rewarding time for the horse riding equestrian. The horse first learns the scent of the person who is working with it. This can take a few minutes to a few days depending on how easy the horse is to work with.
Once the horse has become used to the human smell, they are then gentled. This is a long and complicated process. Typically, the horse is introduced to a bit. This is an unfamiliar feeling for the horse and they are going to fight it. After the horse is used to the bit, the equestrian is going to attempt to get on the back of the horse. This is where it can get really dangerous for the horse equestrian. The horse is not going to be used to having this weight on their back and are going to fight it.
They are going to buck off the rider. The rider is going to continue to get on the back of the horse until the horse gets used to the rider being there. While this is going on, the horse equestrian is going to speak softly to the horse and is going to encourage it to accept them. Once the horse is used to the weight as well as the bit, a saddle is going to be placed on the horse. This is the final step in breaking them. Breaking may seem to be a harsh word, but it is the common term when training a wild horse.
Breaking a horse is not the only way a horse riding equestrian earns that term. Those who love riding horses in the mountains face their own issues when riding. A mountain horse equestrian needs to know how to seat the horse while going up and down hills. It is easy to stay on a horse back when the horse is on level ground. It is another to maintain the same seat when there are steep hills to go up and down. This is why they are considered experts at horse riding and why they have earned that title.
Some riders prefer not to use a saddle or to ride bareback. These people are known as the horseback equestrian. This is because it is more difficult to ride a horse without a saddle than it is to ride with equestrian horse tack. There is more leg strength that is required in the rider to maintain the right balance on the horse when there are no stirrups or a saddle to hold on to. While this riding style can be more difficult, those who practice it say it is a way to become closer to the animal they are riding.
Historically, an equestrian was known as a member of the Calvary. These were men, women were not allowed in the military hundreds of years ago, who worked and fought solely from horseback. They could be just as deadly from horseback as the modern day soldier is from a tank. There was special armor that was created to protect the horse as well as the rider. This armor started out as leather wrappings which changed to metal as the technology was advanced. Today, not many military outfits use the Calvary that was known back then. While there are still equestrian units found in most military branches, most of them are used only in parades and formal functions. The Calvary is known reserved to helicopter units.
In answering the question of what is a horse equestrian, the bottom line is that it is anyone who has proficiency in the riding and caring for horses. Those who want to become an equestrian should learn all they can about horses. Once they have started riding horses and are good at it can be considered an equestrian of horses in their own right.