If riding a horse isn't exciting enough for you, then trick riding adds in a whole new element of danger and thrill.
Riding a horse is the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground. If that's not enough of a challenge for you, then maybe it's time to take up trick riding.
Trick riding tests the daring and skill of riders as they perform all sorts of stunts while the horse gallops freely around an arena. Riders flip, hang, stand up, and dangle from their horses, just inches from the ground at times.
The trick riders in this video certainly wow the crowd at Equitana, a major horse event held annually in Australia. They make up a great team and show off various trick riding stunts. You can't help but hold your breath as you watch these riders, and you have to admire their strength, balance, and complete trust in their horses.
You'll notice that trick riders use special saddles designed to provide them with more versatility and stability than your average saddle does. Trick riding saddles are somewhat flat, making it easier for the rider to move around the saddle.
The saddles also have multiple handles and loops which a rider can use to anchor a hand or an ankle on. Most importantly, trick riding saddles are tightly girthed and are supported by a well-fitting breastplate to help keep the saddle in place even when the rider is hanging off of the horse's side.
Trick riding also requires special horses. These horses must know their jobs well, and need to gallop continuously without the guidance of their riders. While assistants hold a rope in the middle of the ring to create a sort of track, the horses need to know to stay on the path and to not suddenly veer off course. These horses also need to be strong enough to balance the rider's weight even when they're in strange positions on the horse's back.
So, what do you think? Looking for a challenge? Then maybe trick riding is for you.