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Western Riding - from hard work to modern horse sport

The hard everyday life of cowboys

The origin of western riding is in America's "wild west". The Cowboys trekked through the infinitely vast prairies in the wide areas of the American West, in order to herd, supply, and take care of the bison and beef cattle of the ranchers who had settled there.

For the cowboys the horse was an indispensable means of locomotion at work. They often had to sit for hours in the saddle, and so developed a comfortable riding style. And they basically had to be capable of demanding everything of their horses, with minimal strain and effort.

Special requirements of the horse were necessary for this: the horse should possess strong nerves, sure-footedness on the terrain, and good sprinting ability.

Since the cowboys needed to have a free hand for their lasso, western riding is still today a one-handed riding style. A brief signal from the rider to the horse is a main feature of western riding. A good horse facilitated the cowboy in his work, because at that time the rider's concentration was on his real job and not on horsemanship. Riding was a means to an end. And the clothing of cowboys also had to support their job: absolutely durable, adapted to life in the saddle, and practical. Although today they are no longer working clothes, at Stars & Stripes we follow these requirements with our western clothes, and are still guided by the classic styles of the time.


Popular horse sport

Today western riding has become one of the top categories among horse sports.

There are numerous events where riders of different age groups compete against each other in different disciplines.

This summer from the 23rd of June to July 03 the "American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup 2016" (AQH Youth World Cup) will be held in Tamworth, Australia. The best young people from various countries will once again be competing with each other here.

This year's competition riders will competing in the following disciplines :

  • Showmanship at Halter
  • Horsemanship
  • Hunter under Saddle
  • Western Riding
  • Hunt Seat Equitation
  • Western Pleasure
  • Cutting
  • Reining and Trail


Also this year: IBHF Wold Cup 2016 in Brazil from 25-29.05.2016 and the 25th German Open in Kreuth/Rieden from 10-17.09.2016


Still looking for the perfect outfit for the events this year?

Western clothing for men

Western clothing for women