Mounted orienteering is a sport that belongs to the Orienteering family of sports, in which participants navigate from start to end through control points, on animal backs, mostly on horsebacks. In addition to the skills required for reading a map and using a compass for navigation, participants are also required to have good horsemanship skills.
Though the fundamental orienteering concepts are the same, there are major differences in mounted orienteering which revolve around maps, course layout, route choice, and control points.
Mounted orienteering competitions are both conducted as standalone competitions, and as a part of other multi-discipline sport like Trec. Standalone competitions are mostly conducted in North America, where the courses are long and the riders are free to choose the order in which the control points are covered. The control point is identified in the map, and its exact location is described with the help of multiple landmarks around it. The landmarks are not a part of the map, but are included in a clue sheet. Riders are expected to triangulate the control point using multiple landmarks and ride to the control point in the most efficient route.
In Europe, mounted orienteering competitions are seldom conducted as standalone competitions, they are always included as a part of other endurance riding events.
- Orienteering — participants find their way to various checkpoints across rough country with the aid of a map and compass, the winner being the one with the lowest elapsed time.
- Ski Orienteering — the objective for athletes is to navigate from the start to the finish through checkpoints while riding on skis.
- TREC — a French equestrian sport in which the objective is to test both the horse and the rider in competitions consisting of three separate events, including Mounted orienteering.
- Rogaining — involves cross-country navigation over long distances.
- Underwater Orienteering — individual and team events in which competitors wearing scuba diving equipment swim an underwater course following a route marked on a map prepared by the competition organizers, using a compass and a counter meter to measure the distance covered.
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