Considering that we participate in a sport where we still mount from the left because that’s the side we carry our swords, and that we’ve managed to keep a sport meant to test the bravest cavalry horses in the Olympics alongside skateboarding and three-on-three basketball, one might be forgiven for assuming that riding is, perhaps, a bit slow to evolve.
And while, sure, horse sports don’t change quite as quickly as fashion or music, we’ve still got our own trends. You haven’t worn your puke-green breeches in a few years now, have you? And picking a drop noseband over an anatomical bridle marks one not as a thrifty re-user of well-kept tack, but as someone bordering on militantly traditional.
So, with our rule-following, trend-marking eyes clearly on 2022, it’s time to take a look at what we’re ushering out with the old and what we’re welcoming in for the new year ahead. We riders may still dress like penguins for formal events, but we definitely evolve; you can decide for yourself whether its for the better or the worse:
|WHAT’S IN …||WHAT’S OUT …|
||Olympic drop scores|
|Clipping “Thelwell patches”
|The popularity of NSBA sanctioning||The popularity of the USEF mileage rule|
|Sri Lanka’s first Olympic show jumper||Ireland’s first Olympic dressage team|
|Air vests in the jumpers||Top hats in dressage
|Longears in the jumper ring||Amateur-owner jumper divisions|
|Finishing your round with a soundness circle||Waiting until the end of your class to jog in-hand|
|USEF Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Plan||USEF officials who refuse to take DEI training|
|Paralympians earning equal medal pay||Horses in pentathlon (probably)|
|Maryland 5 Star At Fair Hill||Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event|