On June 17th 2017, Wadswick Country Store will be hosting an exciting Tentpegging display at our Be Safe, Be Smart equestrian fun day. In preparation, we thought we would take a look at what this increasingly popular sport is all about.




Tentpegging is the collective name for mounted skill at arms. A mounted horseman or woman rides at gallop using a sword or lance to pierce, pick up, and carry away a small ground target (a symbolic tent peg) or a series of small ground targets. Riders are timed and must meet the optimum time to avoid scoring penalties. The sport tests skill, nerve, speed, accuracy and sportsmanship and a rider needs a good seat, great hand-eye coordination, steady nerves and rapid reactions!


Scores are awarded for striking the peg, drawing the peg, carrying the peg over the carry line, and for pace and style.


It may seem simple but it’s a tricky skill to master!


Tentpegging events include Individual Lance, Individual Sword, Lemons and Peg, Rings and Peg, Team and Pairs events, and Sword, Lance, Revolver.


Individual Lance or Sword Pegging: Performed with a lance or sword held in the right hand. At a flat-out gallop, riders take pegs embedded in the ground along a straight line.


Pairs and Team Tentpegging: Teams of no more than four riders and horses run single file past pegs in the ground. Each rider must draw his or her own peg with the lance or sword. The aim is for all riders to hit their pegs at the same time and points are awarded for synchronicity and execution.


Lemons and Peg: Two sets of fruit are suspended from gallows 2.2m from the ground and 15m apart. At the gallop, riders use swords to slice the fruit from the forehand and then the backhand. At the end of the course, they must take a peg from the ground.

Rings and Peg: Two rings are suspended from gallows. Riders must spear the rings from the gallows using a lance or sword and then take a peg from the ground.


Sword, Lance, Revolver: Riders use swords to attack dummies between jumps, then use a revolver firing .38 (9mm) blanks to burst balloons both mid-air over jumps and on the ground. The lance is used on the final element to collect two rings from a pair of gallows and a peg from the ground. This is considered the ultimate Tentpegging competition!



Lances, swords, blank firing revolvers, and prickers for junior teams and young horses. All the weapons can be dangerous so lances, swords and prickers must have smooth points without any serrations or barbs. Safety first, of course! Also needed are the all-important wooden or plastic pegs (12” x 3” x 1” thick), gallows, rings, jumps, dummies, and sometimes fruit. For the horses, a breastplate to stop the saddle moving is essential and an overgirth also helps to keep the saddle in place and the horse confident when moving at break-neck speeds.



Horses love the thrill and enjoy galloping unhindered. According to the British Tentpegging Association (BTA), “the majority of horses and ponies can be taught to peg and they love it. Most take to the weapons and drills after a few training sessions.”



Tentpegging is a game of ancient origin and has been practised since at least the 4th century BC! It evolved out of cavalry training exercises designed to develop cavaliers’ prowess with the sword and lance from horseback. It was extremely popular in the Army and Navy during the Victorian Era and with the Mounted Police force after the Second World War.



Tentpegging is played around the world and is becoming especially popular in Australia, India, Israel, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK, where competitions are held regularly. In the future it is hoped that the sport will become a full FEI discipline alongside events such as Eventing and Dressage. There is a hope that one day it will appear at the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics.



The BTA hold regular training events, competitions and social events around the UK. Anyone interested in taking up the sport should contact the BTA and they will put you in touch with a registered instructor in your area. Take a look at the British Tentpegging Association website for more information.



Intrigued? Come on down and watch the Tentpegging demonstration at Wadswick during our fun riding safety day on Saturday 17th June. Display commences at 1.30pm.

Saturday, 17th June



Join us at Wadswick on Saturday 17th June for a fun-packed day dedicated to riding safety for children.


Enjoy our special Tentpegging display, plaiting and travel/loading demos, a mini Cross Country on foot, craft activities, and more.


We’ll have special offers on selected products in store, and our experts will be offering free fit checks for existing riding hats and body equipment. You’ll even have a chance to get your money back on any Racesafe body protector or Champion X-Air Jockey skull purchased on the day, and win some fantastic prizes in our charity draw.


With stalls and food on offer, it’s sure to be great outing for all the family and a day any horse-obsessed kids will love.


Come on down and join in the fun. We look forward to seeing you there!

With Spring grass here and Summer on the way, many of us are wondering what to feed our ponies/horses. Research has shown that forage alone (grass/hay/haylage) is unlikely to provide all the nutrients required even for horses and ponies at rest. Good doers often don’t need the recommended amount of compound feed so diets can lack all the key nutrients. This is where using a Feed Balancer comes into play, it provides concentrated nutrition without the calories and helps to balance out a forage based diet.

Feed Balancers are low starch/sugar and contain vitamins and minerals, biotin, quality protein to build and repair muscle/tissue and yeast to maintain a healthy hind gut. Feeding a Balancer instead of a compound feed can help to prevent weight gain and excess energy without compromising health and can ultimately save money!

Feed Balancers are fed in small quantities e.g. (always check bag for feeding rates). 100g/100kg body weight, 300kg pony = 300g per day

Bag sizes can vary – generally 15-20kg, so always check the weight before you work out your cost per day!

Balancers are available for breeding stock, performance horses, good doers, leisure horses and those horses and ponies prone to laminitis.

For more information on Balancers please call Wadswick Country Store on 01225 810700 and ask to speak to Nikki.