United States Tent Pegging Federation


Author: Dr. Asim Shahzad Malik D.B.A.

Dated: 02/19/2015

Print a PDF Version: Tent Pegging on Arabian Horses

Tent Pegging on Arabian Horses

United States Tent Pegging Federation Tent Pegging on Arabian Horses Picture 1

Arabian horse:

                 As it is documented that Arabian horses origins are from Arabian Peninsula. Arabian horse beauty is consisted the shape of head, nose shaped like dish and its rising tail while during walk, trot, canter and gallop. Other horse breeds may put one in doubt if presented in a region where that specific breed is not originated from as compare to an Arabian horse, which can be recognized anywhere in globe when presented. Arabian horses are known for their beauty, glamour, and reasonable height, which always average between 14HH to 15.1HH. The Arabian horse breed is well recognized for their endurance and last but not least the intelligence of Arabian horse breed can't be ignored. We will discuss about the intelligence of Arabian horse in the following paragraphs.

                Arabian horses were exported from the Middle East in time of second Muslim Caliph Umar Ibn Al-Khatab (RAU) by 630 AD when the Islamic empire expanded its boundaries from Middle East to North Africa, Spain and controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula. A big number of Arabian horses were sent to Egypt to breeding, training and maintaining the Arabian horse breed for the best performance with in the local weather and prepare the Arabian breed to handle the different environment other than the Middle Eastern environment and weather.

                The strategy helped the Arabian breed to gain taller height, more dish in the nose and endurance in a different climates. At the same time when Muslim armies reached Spain they came with majority of Arabian breed and Barb breed horses, which later stayed behind and at present many of the Arabian and Barb breed horses crossed with warm blood horses generation after generation and maintained most of their features specific to dish shape nose and beauty of high tail carriage.

Arabian horse Endurance and Tent Pegging:

                 Tent Pegging rules are applied in the competitions/ events and each tent pegging athlete horse performs for minimum of six runs for 109 yards (100 meters) each time from the start to the end line with full gallop speed. Controlling and slowing the speed of the horse sometimes takes longer and horse can reach all the way up to 327 yards (300 meters) by the time horse is in full control and stopped. Tent pegging is performed employing point system. If all the riders achieve same amount of points in all the six runs and it is hard to finalize the wining rider makes difficult for final decision; then the speed of the horse is considered by the minimum time in seconds spent reaching to the target, pick the target and reach the end line. If results are the same for all the riders then two more runs are given to the riders on same horse the riders used in the first six runs. This increase the use of horse and Arabians as compare to other breeds, which have a tendency to get tired or give up on the performance but the Arabian horse can carry the sport going because of the endurance quality in the Arabian horse blood lines.

                 The purpose of this article is not to discuss that how the USTPF® emerged in the USA but to provide more details about the involvement of Arabian horses and their abilities performing Tent Pegging successfully and amuse the spectators in the field. Arabian horses were initially tested by the USTPF® in their first sponsored Tent Pegging Training Clinic in October 2014. The USTPF® used two Half-Arabs, and two full blooded Arabian horses along with other breeds. Interestingly, all the Arabian horses provided best results in regard to speed, control, endurance and height of the horse for performing Tent Pegging. As discussed above the height of a horse is extremely significant for tent pegging events specifically when using the Arabian horse for sword events, which ideal for the sword event.

                 At present the USTPF® sponsored scheduled Tent Pegging Training Clinics for April 2015 and May 2015; the federation members who own three purebred Arabian horses and two Half-Arab horses; planned to use again. It was observed during the October 2014 Tent Pegging Training Clinic; after two to three initial practice runs the Arabian horses got better and learned quickly about their start line, the equipment lance, Sword, Gallows, and Peg. Their demonstrated intelligence proved that the Arabian horses can be a suitable and competitive breed along with other breeds.

                 Few test runs really don't affect the ability of an Arabian horse. However, important thing to remember is that other breeds, which include quarter horse in general, is also best for tent pegging because of its shorter height. As a matter of fact practice runs actually warm up the Arabian horses for best performance. Once the Arabian horse realizes its job, it really likes to perform and provides best results again and again. As compare to other breeds it took less time training an Arabian horse to run straight with specific gallop speed, with lance, sword, near the gallows, and peg.

                 The intelligence of Arabian horse is another factor that makes Arabian horses more reliable as compare to other breeds. It was observed on an occasion when an Arabian horse jumped across the water stream; the rider lost the balance and fall when Arabian horse reached the other side of the stream and before the Arabian touches his front feet on the ground, he notice his rider under his feet. Instead of dropping his feet on the rider he turned his direction while on the rear feet and landed 180 degrees from the rider.

                 This indicates that Arabian horses not only are good movers but also very cognizant of the environment around them. That intelligent Arabian horse is not the one that we can't present or just making a story, that is the proven Half-Arab Kodi in the picture below.

Tent Pegging on Arabian and Other Horses Breeds:

                 Tent Pegging can be performed on any horse or any breed as long as a horse is trained to gallop in a straight line and perform fearlessly around the spectators, with rider in the saddle, Lance & Sword. Horse's height is very significant when performing the Tent Pegging (Skill At Arm) specifically with sword. The best height of a horse for sword event is 14HH - 14.2HH maximum.

                 Sword is a handled very carefully during the Tent Pegging events because a small mistake can cause injury to the rider or his horse. Therefore, it is significant to use a shorter horse and as mentioned in the above paragraph that a horse with shorter height is mandatory to perform the sword event.

                 Only two horse breeds are considered fit in the height category; number one horse that is considered best is Arabian followed by Quarter horse. Both breeds are known for speed for short distance but only one breed can beat the Quarter horse for endurance is an Arabian horse breed. Arabian horse can perform for four to six hours with short breaks or no breaks without any problem, where other horses can lose the interest in the sport.

About Tent Pegging in the USA:

                 Tent Pegging once has been very popular in the USA prior to 1940s between the WWI and WWII. Tent Pegging has taken many twists and turns before it started regenerating the roots once again in the soils of the United States of America and now it is an emerging equestrian sport in the greater Americas (North & South). Tent Pegging is as an equestrian sports initially didn't get significance and faced hurdles getting promoted in the USA in the current decade.

                 Tent pegging is also called Skill AT Arm. Three different events are performed during a Tent Pegging competition. Two different type of Arms or equipment are used when performing Tent Pegging.

                 Number one event is called pegging, which is performed using Lance with length of minimum 7' and 3" to maximum 9' and 3" long. This event is a straight run on a galloping horse with lance in riders hand from the start line to the end line 109 yards (100 meters). The rider runs the horse from starting line all the way up to 76 yards (70 meters) where the peg (target) is set in the ground, pierces the peg and carry it to 32 yards (30 meters), which is the end line distance of full 109 yards (100 meters) start to end.

                 Number two event is called mix of three targets; in this event the start to end distance is the same as the number one event. The riders runs the horse on a galloping speed by passing the Lance through two Rings hanging on two stands 16 yards (15 meters) apart, which is also called Gallows for Tent Pegging and the third target is buried at 32 yards (30meters) little less than 51/4" inches (13 cms) in the ground and 63/4" (17cms) above the ground.

                 Number three event is performed using Sword which consists of 7" inches long hilt and 35" long blade and total length of the sword is 42" Inches long; in this event the start to end distance is the same as the number one and number two events. The rider slices two lemons or oranges hanging on a two stands placed apart on the same distances mentioned above for number two event, which is called Gallows for Tent Pegging followed by piercing a target on the ground called Peg as discussed above.

About the USTPF®:

                 This is an interesting story that how this miracle happened and when United States Tent Pegging Federation, Inc. (USTPF)® came into to existence? The United States Tent Pegging Federation, Inc. (USTPF)® is a Not-For-Profit organization. USTPF® is serving as the National Governing Body (NGB) for Tent Pegging, an ancient equestrian sport. Tent Pegging is an English name for this sport, which is also known as Qilla in Arabic language, Neza Bazi in Urdu language.

                 This sport/discipline is a true test of Skill at Arm and ability for equestrian athletes. The USTPF® is devoted to be the sentinels of Tent Pegging in order to enhance and growth of the tent pegging community in the US.

                 The USTPF® will train, select, and fund Tent Pegging and polo teams for training events and tournaments in North America and abroad. At present the USTPF® has numerous players across the US and will strive to develop more riders in all regions. A prominent goal of the USTPF® is to produce and assist other organizations in hosting tent pegging events and competitions across the United States.

                 The USTPF® is dedicated to the welfare of the equine athlete and will strive to promote proper horsemanship/horsemastership from the Novice to the Master which is vital to the Federation's future success. Our program to train young tent peggers will create ongoing generations of equestrian athletes who will strive constantly elevate and maintain the highest of standards while competing domestically and in the international arena. The USTPF® will remain steadfast in its promise to defend equine welfare and support federal and state governments as well as other national equine entities.

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