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Trick Riding

Trick Riding

Trick riding was initially used for military purposes by the Russian Cossacks, a discipline they called dzhigitovka. The skill eventually migrated westwards where it became a stalwart on the rodeo circuit.

Probably best suited to stuntmen and women rather than your average happy hacker, trick riding basically involves high-risk acrobatic manoeuvres on horseback. The tricks you can expect to see include standing on a horse's back, hanging off the side, and executing back flips.

While there are some similarities with vaulting, there are also key differences, chiefly in performance style. Trick riding leans more towards showmanship, and vaulting more towards choreographed gymnastics.

Other common trick riding moves include: handstands and vaults; hanging off the side of the horse via an arm or a leg; flips and jumps: and ‘Roman riding,’ whereby the rider stands on the backs of two horses.

Naturally, trick riding is not an activity that should be performed at home as it requires extensive training and specialised skills to ensure the safety of both the rider and the horse.

In fact, it’s probably much wiser to class this as a spectator sport as trick riding is often showcased in equestrian shows, rodeos, circuses, and other entertainment events.

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