The horse played an important role throughout human history all over the world, both in warfare and in peaceful pursuits such as transportation, trade and agriculture. Though there is controversy over the exact date horses were domesticated and when they were first ridden, the best estimate is that horses first were ridden approximately 3500 BC. Indirect evidence suggests that horses were ridden long before they were driven. However, the most unequivocal early archaeological evidence of equines put to working use was of horses being driven. Chariot burials about 2500 BC present the most direct hard evidence of horses used as working animals.
In ancient civilizations, the chariots were often used for war purposes. Many basic riding practices were born of military applications put in place for the safety and practicality of mounted troops. Diverse styles of riding developed, and the saddle, as well as the stirrup and other riding aids, were manufactured along with the other appurtenances to horseback riding. For example dressage dates back to classical Greek horsemanship and the military who trained their horses to perform movements intended to evade or attack the enemy whilst in battle.
Equestrianism includes many different sports of riding, driving, steeplechasing or vaulting with horses. The International Federation for Equestrian Sports (French: Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI)) is the international governing body of equestrian sports. The FEI recognizes dressage, combined driving, endurance, eventing, para-equestrian, reining, show jumping, equestrian vaulting under global governance. Equestrian events were first included in the modern Olympic Games in 1900. By 1912, all three Olympic disciplines, dressage, show jumping and eventing still seen today were part of the games.