Equestrian is the only Olympic sport where man and animal are established team mates, and one of the few sports where men and women compete on equal terms.
Four equestrian disciplines are included in the 15th Asian Games: dressage, eventing, jumping and endurance.
Dressage is the most elegant equestrian discipline, with a horse performing set movements or tests in response to its rider's signals.
The event is conducted over three rounds. In the first two, horse and rider perform a set routine of dressage movements, including passages, pirouettes and piaffes in a walk, trot and canter. The third round is freestyle, with routines individually choreographed and performed to music.
The three disciplines of dressage, cross-country and jumping are tested in the eventing competition.
Riders must be versatile to excel in all three categories; they need patience and composure for dressage, fearlessness and speed for cross-country and precision and timing for jumping.
For the cross-country competition, riders have to jump a number of obstacles on a set course.
Equestrian at the 15th Asian Games will finish with jumping, a popular sport that is exciting to watch and easy to follow.
Riders are required to guide their mount over a course of up to 14 obstacles that are laid out inside an earth covered arena. Obstacles can include triple bars, parallel rails, water jumps and simulated stone walls. Jumping tests the horse's leaping ability and the rider's skill to urge the horse over challenging obstacles.
Endurance riding is an extremely strenuous form of horse racing, requiring the horse to complete, at the top levels, for up to 100 miles. Winning riders complete these 100-mile rides in 10-12 hours. Any breed can compete, but Arabians generally dominate the top levels because of their incredible stamina and natural endurance.
Riders must have a great knowledge of pace and know when to slow down or speed up during the ride. They must also have knowledge of their horse's condition and watch for signs of tiring.
In some countries, the winner is determined by a combination of speed and the recovery rate of the horse. In other countries, no places are given and awards are presented to any horse and rider that achieved a required standard.
Endurance riding will be introduced to the Asian Games for the very first time in Doha 2006.
Did you know?
"Before 1952, only military officers were permitted to take part in equestrian events at the Olympics. After these restrictions were lifted, military and civilian men and women competed against each other in equestrian events."