Readers Respond! Trail Riding Tops Maryland’s Favorite Horse Activities
first published in the January 2019 Equiery print edition
We asked Equiery readers to cast their votes for their favorite equine discipline to participate in and also their favorite to watch. Nearly 200 readers voted their preferences and after all the votes were counted… Trail Riding took the number one spot for participation, while Eventing won out for favorite equine discipline to watch.
The majority of our voters came from Maryland with others residing in nearby states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. A few residents from as far as New York, Kentucky, Ohio and New Hampshire also cast their votes.
Forty-seven percent of our voters classify themselves as amateur riders with 35% calling themselves recreational riders. Professional riders were represented by 10% of the voters and non-riding horse enthusiasts made up 5.6%.
Our readers are active participants, as nearly 40% of our voters are U.S. Equestrian Federation members. Forty-two Mounted Games Across America members cast 25% of the votes. U.S. Dressage Federation, U.S. Eventing Association and U.S. Hunter/Jumper Association members rounded out the top five national associations represented by our survey.
As for local associations, Potomac Valley Dressage Association members cast the most votes with 22 votes. Fifteen Maryland Horse Council members voted. Trail Riders of Today members cast 11 votes and the Maryland Horse Show Association and the Maryland Combined Training Association each had eight votes.
Most Participated In Disciplines
It comes as no surprise that Trail Riding is the most popular equine discipline for our readers. Fifty-six percent of voters checked the box for Trail Riding, while 42% selected Dressage for a close second.
Eventing came in third with 26%. A large number of Mounted Games enthusiasts cast their votes making the fast-moving team sport number four on our list with 24.7%. Rounding out the top five was Show Jumping with 22%.
Some of the more unique disciplines that readers cast write-in votes for were Mounted Archery and Cowboy Mounted Shooting. Saddle Seat, Pony Racing and Maryland’s state sport of Jousting also made the write-in list.
Most Watched Disciplines
The Olympic disciplines of Eventing, Show Jumping and Dressage topped the list of most popular to watch equine disciplines. Eventing won out with 57% of the votes while Show Jumping came in second with 55% and Dressage with 43%.
In fourth place was Mounted Games with 33% and Rodeo came in fifth with 29% of the votes.
There were not as many write-in votes for this question but we loved one anonymous voter’s enthusiastic comment of “All of the above!” Cowboy Mounted Shooting also made its way to the write-in list as well as Saddle Seat and Reining.
What we found even more interesting than what topped each of our lists was what each type of rider liked to watch. Some of the pairings seem obvious but others were a bit surprising.
It seems that Western Riders like watching Barrel Racing and other Western classes but also checked boxes for Eventing and Flat Track Racing.
Mounted Games riders seem to like watching all kinds of speed disciplines such as Barrel Racing and Show Jumping. Many also clicked the box for Rodeo.
Eventers like watching Combined Driving, various types of Racing, Rodeo and Foxhunting. Take out Foxhunting and add Show Hunters and Jumpers to the list and you have what Dressage Riders like watching.
Many Equitation and Show Hunter riders were also Rodeo and Racing fans.