The following are recognised equestrian disciplines:
In Dressage competitions, horse and rider perform a series of predetermined movements known as figures or movements.
The arena, flat and level, is 60m long and 20m wide. These measurements are for the interior of the enclosure, which is separated from the public by a minimum distance of 10m. If the competition is indoors, the arena is a minimum distance of 2m from the wall.
The enclosure consists of a low white fence about 30cm high. The surface of the arena is made of sand or a sand mix with a non-slip base.
The standard dressage arena letters are A-K-V-E-S-H-C-M-R-B-P-F. The letters on the long sides of the arena, nearest the corners, are 6m in from the corners and 12m apart from each other. The letters along the centre line are D-L-X-I-G, with X being half way down the arena.
Eventing comprises dressage, cross‑country and show jumping. It has two main formats, the one day event and the three day event.
The first day is the dressage event, similar to regular dressage competition but rules modified so not quite as demanding.
The second phase, cross‑country consists of approximately 12 to 20 fixed jumps at lower levels and 30 to 40 at higher levels, placed on a long outdoor course. These fences consist of solidly built natural objects (logs, stone walls, etc) as well as various obstacles such as water, ditches, drops and banks, and combinations including several jumping efforts based on objects that would commonly occur in the countryside.
The third phase is show jumping where 12 to 20 fences are set up in an arena. These fences are brightly coloured and consist of elements that can be knocked down.
Red or white boundary flags are used to mark the start and finish lines, compulsory passages and define obstacles.
Each obstacle on the course is numbered. The start and finish lines are marked by distinct signs.
In modern jumping competitions, horse and rider are required to complete a course of 10 to 13 jumps, to test the horse and rider’s skill, accuracy and training.
An indoor competition arena has a minimum size of 1,200sqm with a minimum width on the short side of 20m. An outdoor competition arena must have a minimum size of 4,000sqm with a minimum width on the short side of 50m.
The total length of the course in metres must not exceed the number of obstacles in the competition multiplied by 60.
The start and finish lines are no more than 15m or less than 6m from the first and last obstacle. These two lines are marked with a red flag on the right and a white flag on the left. The start line and finish line must also be marked with markers with the letters S (start) and F (finish).
Under FEI rules the horse jumps a course of 10 to 16 obstacles, including verticals, spreads, and double and triple combinations, usually with many turns and changes of direction. These obstacles are up to 1.6m high and spreads of 2m. Types of jumps include vertical, oxer, triple bar, cross rail, wall, hosback, combination, fan, open water, liverpool, joker.
The information in this guide is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as professional advice concerning the design of, or marking out for, sporting facilities and playing areas. No assurance is given as to the accuracy of any information contained in this guide and readers should not rely on its accuracy. Readers should obtain their own independent and professional advice in relation to their proposed sporting activity.