Equestrianism (from Latin equester, equestr-, equus, horseman, horse), more often known as horse riding (British English) or horseback riding (American English), refers to the skill of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sport.
- Dressage ("training" in French) involves the progressive training of the horse to a high level of impulsion, collection and obedience. Competitive dressage has the goal of showing the horse carrying out, on request, the natural movements that it performs without thinking while running loose.
- Show jumping comprises a timed event judged on the ability of the horse and rider to jump over a series of obstacles, in a given order and with the fewest refusals or knockdowns of portions of the obstacles.
- Eventing, also called combined training, horse trials, the three-day event, the Military or the complete test, puts together the obedience of dressage with the athletic ability of show jumping, the fitness demands the cross-country jumping phase. In the last-named, the horses jump over fixed obstacles, such as logs, stone walls, banks, ditches and water, trying to finish the course under the "optimum time." There was also the 'Steeple Chase' Phase, which is now excluded from most major competitions to bring them in line with the Olympic standard.