Working Equitation is a sport that originated in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France, based on the different skills and expertise needed when working on farms and with livestock. It is now a worldwide sport.
Working Equitation has four different phases:
- Obstacles – judged on ease of handling
- Obstacles – timed, ridden at speed
- Cattle work – (not always offered)
This sport is a version of showjumping where riders also score points for riding in good balance and rhythm and having a good riding position. Riders should be able to adjust their horse’s stride to tackle each jump smoothly, without sudden lengthening or shortening in front of the fence.
After a rider completes their round, the judge gives helpful comments about the horse and rider combination on a score sheet, with the aim to help the rider improve. Riders are given marks for their leg position, eye contact, seat, hands, upper body, rhythm and tempo, their approach to the fences, control of the horse and for presentation.