From mountain orienteering to trail riding and from dressage to our very own rodeo activities—There are dozens of equestrian sports in the world. Not all of them are created equal, and almost all of them focus on different areas.
In this guide, we’re going to look at all the major equestrian sports, not just American rodeo, alongside betting tips for them all so you can make some money with your knowledge! But why, you ask?
Other sports have many guides. But rodeo? Cowboy polo? Not nearly enough coverage and certainly less than we'd like to see.
This guide aims to change that. So, let’s get right into it!
General equestrian sports include 4-H, equitation, horse shows, mounted orienteering, sidesaddle, trail riding, barrel racing, etc. Betting in these is fairly straightforward—Research the competitors’ past performance and consider factors like track conditions or course difficulty.
Naturally, you also need to gather information on the rider and the horse to make well-informed bets.
The International Federation for Equestrian Sports has some disciplines with international standards. These include combined driving, dressage, Dzhigitovka, endurance riding, eventing, para-equestrian, reining, and show jumping.
Dressage is one of the most popular equestrian sports. Commonly referred to as “horse ballet,” it emphasizes not speed or endurance but the horse’s grace and obedience. An alien concept to some, there’s a high demand for precision in dressage as the rider performs a series of movements with their horse to display its responsiveness to the subtlest of cues.
Betting enthusiasts often need to closely study the horse and rider's track record as well the performance in similar competitions. Form, course conditions and previous results are the most important factors.
Most people associate equestrian sports with horse racing. It also seems to be the most betting-friendly sport, but that’s fast-changing. There are various types of horse racing sports, such as flat racing, harness racing, point-to-point, steeplechase, and thoroughbred horse racing.
As one of the most well-known betting-friendly sports, horse racing offers a plethora of betting opportunities. You need to pay attention to a bunch of stuff. Form, track conditions, jockeys’ records, trainers’ performance, distance, track surface, injuries—You name it.
It might not be easy to keep track all of this stuff all the time. Betting on horse racing is nothing short of a science, which is why we recommend the help of reliable betting oddsmakers.
Popular Canadian betting sites provide reliable rankings on their future horse events directories. For instance, Elite Power is chosen as the favorite to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a +175 odd, whereas Cody’s Wish is the most likely to take home the win in the Classic with a +550 odd.
English riding includes the English versions of pleasure riding, dressage, eventing, and saddle seat. It additionally includes field hunting, foxhunting, hunt seat, show hunting, show jumping, show hacking, and team chasing.
Experience and the ability to execute specific movements is very important in all English riding sports. Pay close attention to the track conditions and the horse’s form.
Western riding includes wildly popular sports such as cowboy-mounted shooting, cowboy polo, horsemanship, O-Mok-See, trails, and the Western variants of dressage, pleasure riding, and horse shows.
The single most important metric here is the expertise of the rider and the reputation of the horse in such events. Here, too, the form, course conditions, and previous results matter a lot.
Though there are regional variants such as Australian rodeo, Charreada, and Chilean rodeo—the most popular rodeo sports are American rodeo ones. These include barrel racing, breakaway roping, dally ribbon roping, goat tying, pole bending, saddle bronc and bareback riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping, and steer roping.
Past performances, form, track conditions, event challenges, etc., all play a crucial role in rodeo betting. As there's a lot of variety, you need to look at each event separately and come up with a specific strategy.
Team equestrian sports include Deporte de lazo, drill team, horseball, Pato, polo, and polocrosse. The most popular among these is arguably polo. Famous all over the world, polo is usually played with teams of four riders on horseback pitted against other.
The objective of a polo match is to score goals by hitting a ball into the opponent's goal. The riders have long-handled mallets in their hands, and they need excellent horsemanship and strategic teamwork to win. The highest governing body of polo is the Federation of International Polo or FIP.
All equestrian team sports are pretty energetic and fast-paced.
As with any team sport, betting on an equestrian team sport is all about the skills of the riders and the collective experience of the teams. Any team’s track record and head-to-head scores should be consulted before placing bets. Teamwork and strategy are also important to consider.
Humans from all over the world have been eternally fascinated with horses. As a result, there are many regional equestrian sports as well. There’s the Buzkashi, Corrida de sortija, jousting, and mounted archery, among others.
These are hard to bet on as you need to be on the ground in the region where they take place. But we’re going to assume the other sports we mentioned will cut it for you!