Mythical Creature Equestrianism

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if mythical creatures participated in Equestrianism? I have to admit, it crossed my mind, and here’s what I came up with when I meshed the two topics together.

Horses are incredible animals. Some people don’t see the purpose of using them in sports because they find it inhumane, but we can all agree their beauty is mesmerizing. Listed below are the more popular equestrian events. You may have also heard of the mythical creatures.

1. Roping Centaur

Centaur roping Minotaur

a legendary creature found in Greek Mythology. They’re known to be savage and chaotic. Roping dates back to old wild west days when cowboys used a rope to capture steer. As a rodeo sport, the performance is timed, in which two cowboys must work together to rope a steer without dismounting their horses. Team Roping is made up of a header and a heeler. The header ropes the steer and the heeler must catch its heels.

2. Jousting Unicorn

Unicorn Jousting

a legendary creature found in Scottish Mythology. The unicorn is a symbol of purity and grace. Its horn is believed to have the ability to heal sick people. Jousting is a martial game where two horsemen must come at each other wielding a lance in hopes of unhorsing them or breaking the lance on their armor or shield. This sport was merely to showcase the bravery of kings and knights.

3. Dressage Longma

Longma Dressage

a legendary creature found in Chinese mythology. The Longma is considered an omen. To see this mythological creature means you may encounter a legendary deity. Dressage translates from French to English as training. This sport is about the connection and dedication between the rider and horse. The duo must perform a series of movements like the piaffe, passage, and a pirouette.

4. Polo Kelpie

Kelpie Polo

a legendary creature found in Scottish folklore. The Kelpie has the ability to shape shift into a human form but will keep its hooves instead of hands and feet. Polo is made up of two teams of four players. The objective of the game is to drive a ball down the field to goal posts with a mallet. Polo is the oldest equestrian sport and was first played in Persia.

3. Racing Hippogriff

Hippogriff racing

a legendary creature found in Greek mythology. Its the offspring of a mare and a griffin and is the symbol of the Greek god Apollo. Horse racing is one of the oldest sports. The sport is simple—the fastest wins. Horse racing varies in different countries. Steeplechasing, endurance racing, and flat racing are a few examples. A major factor in horse racing is gambling.

2. Show Jumping Hippocampus

Hippocampus Show jumping

a legendary creature found in Greek Mythology. They’re known to be passive and majestic creatures of the sea. Show Jumping is a timed event where the rider must guide their horse’s jump over five-feet high obstacles. This part of the competition is called Puissance. It became an official Olympic sport in 1912.

8. Bronc Riding Sleipnir

Sleipnir Bronco

a legendary creature found in Norse Mythology. The Sleipnir is Odin’s choice of mount. It is known as the strongest of all horses and horse-like creatures. Bronc riding is a rodeo sport where a cowboy must ride a bucking horse for as long as he or she can manage without being thrown off. This sport started out when cowboys would have to break or tame a wild horse so it could be used around the ranch.

6. Barrel Racing Nuckelavee

Nuckelavee Barrell Racing

a legendary creature found in Norse Mythology. The Nuckelavee is pure evil, and this mythical creature’s mission is to plague the townspeople. Barrel Racing is a rodeo sport where the objective of the event is to create a cloverleaf, or a figure-eight pattern, around barrels in the fastest time possible. It was the first equestrian sport for woman. 

7. Harness Racing Pegasus

Pegasus Steeple Chasing

a legendary creature found in Greek Mythology. Pegasus has the power to create springs with the touch of its hoof. The creature is also known for drawing the chariot of Zeus. Harness Racing is a type of racing where the horse must pull a two-wheeled cart known as a sulky. This sport evolved from its well known cousin, chariot racing, of the 7th century BC.

Designer’s Note

I knew I wanted to draw different types of mythological horse-creatures performing equestrian events. The idea of a Centaur roping a Minotaur calf made me laugh, so I thought maybe others would find enjoyment in that, too. I couldn’t stop with just one equestrian sport. I was hooked and drew as many as I could in the time allotted.

It was fun exploring the mythological creatures and researching the equestrian events. My favorite thing about the project wasn’t just the end result, but the fact I was able to include different cultures together in one piece. It truly showcases the beautiful diversity of human, horse, and “equestrianism”.

Which mythological creature is your favorite?
Have you been to an equestrian event or watched one on TV?

For more of Mel Cabre’s designs, check out her Instagram @Melcabre2. You can check out original cryptid designs here.