I ride both dressage and I run barrels and do a little gymkhana. Over the years, I have had horses go lame in both sports. Retirement lame. I’m wondering if there’s ever been studies done on which sport is harder on the horse. For dressage I ride at about third or fourth level at home - lead changes, collection and lots of circles etc. I show a little bit (a few shows a year) when I’m pursuing that direction. For barrel racing, my practice looks like second level dressage works with some sprints thrown in and a bit of collected canter voltes around the barrels. I race her twice a month. Either discipline, I ride in the arena twice a week, I do a “fitness” trail ride (wtc) for about an hour once a week and a longer walk ride once a week down trail. My horses get out into the pasture every day for at least 1/2 hour.
Right now, I’m kind of wavering on which direction I want to go. I’d like to keep my mare sound as long as possible. I have had a vet look at my mare and he thinks she has no issues that would predispose her to lameness.
Anyway - just wondering if anyone had ever seen any articles, etc comparing the two sports.