Vaulting is the process of performing gymnastic exercises with a horse led along at a walk and at a canter. A girth and a wide belt fitted onto the horse allow riders to perform a series of movements in which one's balance and physical abilities are used to the fullest. It is a team sport in which a group learns together to accomplish various manoeuvres.
It involves working together with the horse, the handler and the instructor. The rider must continually adapt to the movement and rhythm of the horse. It is very much a group exercise, requiring close teamwork. The rider must work with the other team members and simultaneously match his or her movements to those of the horse in order to pull off the manoeuvres. The more this coordination is achieved, the better the team can perform.
Initially the vaulting lessons are about playing, experimenting, learning the exercises and building up trust with the horse. Next, sequences are introduced that lead up to the execution of a small choreographed routine, either just for fun or to build up towards participating in shows and competitions.
Vaulting is a discipline necessitating the mastery of good physical self-control. But the main value of vaulting is the joy it brings to students during practice. So don't hesitate: come and give it a go...