Horseball is fast exciting equestrian game played on horseback. The ball is a size-4 football surrounded by a harness with 6 handles and points are scored by shooting it through a high net (approximately 1.5m×1.5m). The sport is like a combination of polo, rugby, and basketball. It is one of the ten disciplines officially recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.
The basic rules involve a team of 4 making a minimum of 3 passes between 3 different players of their team and then scoring through their opponent’s net. The opposing team can defend by either preventing them from being able to shoot by pushing opponents out of the playing area using their horse's weight or to get alongside the players and pull the ball from their hands.
The sport originated in Argentina in early 1700. In the 1970's the modern game we know today became popular in France. This is where Valley Farm first discovered the sport, while we were competing at a vaulting competition in Paris.
Horseball is now played officially in over 14 countries, across 3 continents. The First National Horseball competition in the UK was held at Valley Farm in 1991.
Over the last few decades , the British Horseball Association has promoted the game, with annual leagues of senior and junior matches, an Open Championships, regional, riding school and university competitions as well as local friendly training, games, camps and social events. The British Horseball Association is part of the British Equestrian Federation and is the governing body for Horseball in the UK.
The great thing about horseball, is that is doesn't matter how good or bad you are at riding. So long as your opposing team is at the same level as you, you can have just as much fun playing in walk as you can playing at full gallop!
Come and try lessons in the basics, available at Valley Farm. Horseball can be a fast and exciting sport, for the more adventurous rider. We often cater for groups of experienced riders who wish to sample the game, either just for fun, or with a view to training their own horses.
We also have a number of static tin horses, from which people are able to practice leaning over to pick up the ball. This allows players to develop confidence and core strength without placing unnecessary strain on the horse's back, until they are able to successfully complete the move correctly in canter.
We include horseball as an activity on our Children's Summer Pony Camps and during Children's Activity Pony Days.