Tbourida, the creativity of Moroccan knights

Tbourida is a style of horseback riding that has been around for a long time. People in rural areas do this regularly to mark national and religious occasions. It’s an essential component of the culture of the country.

Also known as the “powder game,” this tradition simulates a military cavalry assault. These short races mainly involve barb horses, light and airy, wearing a very colorful ceremonial harnesses. The event’s goal is to finish the race by firing a shotgun into the air while hearing only one shot.


Tbourida morocco

Depending on the region, the shots are carried out either in the direction of the sky or downwards. Riders dressed in blue djellabas from the part of Guelmim – the door to the desert – have the custom of pulling down.

The regions of Morocco, represented by a “sorba” (troop), participate in high-level exhibitions where the participating teams’ evaluation is based on precise criteria considering the riders’ dress and the skillful handling of the rifles and synchronization of shots.

The Tbourida is a widespread ancestral practice

Tbourida retains

Tbourida, derived from Baroud, which means “gunpowder,” is an ancient equestrian art dating from the 15th century. It is the reconstruction of a military assault by Arab and Amazighwarriors.

From generation to generation, the Tbourida retains a robust spiritual dimension, mainly because it puts the horse, a sacred animal of Islam, at the center of a breathless and impressive spectacle.

La Tbourida dazzles the general Moroccan and international public. It is associated with festivities: moussems, agricultural festivals and many national and family celebrations. Internationals often refer to it as “Fantasia,” an appellation of Latin origin, meaning entertainment.

Tbourida is a fascinating and sophisticated horse show

horse show

Tbourida’s troop, called Sorba, comprises 11 to 15 riders lined up. It is chaired by the Mokaddem, which is placed in the center of the army and coordinates the movement of men and horses.

The show is on a track called Mahrak, 150 to 200 meters long.

The outfit of the riders is traditional and regulatory:

– Simple or embroidered homogeneous caftans,

– Seroual, traditional pants,

– Selhams, large woolen capes,

– Rezza, turbans rolled up on the head,

– Tmagh, traditional equestrian boots,

– Dalil el khayrate, Quran contained in a small bag,

– Khenjer, a dagger contained in its sheath.

The most suitable horses closely associated with warfare are the Barbs and Arab Barbs.

In 2014, SOREC counted the following:

– 309 sorba

– 21 competitions

– 5,433 participating riders

– 5,014 participating horses

Tbourida competitions are held every year throughout Morocco

Tbourida competitions

These competitions take precedence over the talent of the riders and respect for the rules. Regional and then interregional competitions occur all year round in all Moroccan territories. The final takes place at the Hassan II Trophy in Dar Essalam during horse week.

A Tbourida show consists of two main parts:

 The Hadda: salute and handling of weapons of the riders

 The Talqa: galloping race that ends with a solid and synchronous shot

The competitions particularly reward the perfect alignment, the quality of the start, the behavior of the riders, the harnessing of the horses, the art in the execution of the gun game and the precision and simultaneity of the detonations.

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