Vaulting is a combination of dance and gymnastics on the back of a moving horse.
Vaulting has an exciting and rich history! It can be traced to ancient times with drawings on caves of men standing on horses. The great conqueror, Napoleon, made his men practice vaulting moves in order to improve their general horsemanship. Modern vaulting developed in Germany after WWI, and it was intended for children as young as 4 to introduce a safer form of riding in preparation for riding lessons. The sport first came to America in 1956 and a decade later the American Vaulting Association was founded. Vaulting is a widely popular sport across Europe and is quickly gaining popularity in America Today vaulting is one of only seven recognized international equestrian disciplines. More information about vaulting as a sport can be found at the American Vaulting Association.
Is Vaulting safe? YES! Equestrian Vaulters do not wear helmets and yet the American Vaulting Association recognizes vaulting as the safest equestrian support! This is because wearing a helmet only decreases a vaulters safety. The area vaulting takes place is filled with soft and deep footing allowing protection in case of a fall or a bailout. The horse moves in a circle which makes any falls to travel away from the horse. All exercises are always first learned on a stationary barrel and riders are taught safe mounts and dismounts by professional trainers. The horse is controlled by a lunger who stand in the middle of a circle while the horse safely walk, trots, or canters around the lunger. This allows the vaulter to fully concentrate on themselves without the distractions of reins or stirrups. Vaulters are taught how to safely work around a horse and how to correctly fall off the horse and the vaulting horse is carefully chosen base on temperament and skills. Helmets actually increase chances of getting caught on another vaulter or the vaulting equipment which could be incredibly dangerous and it will distort a vaulters equilibrium and perceptual senses of the vaulter in dynamic moves.
Who is it for? Anyone! Vaulting is for anyone who loves horses, dance, gymnastics, and fun! You can start learning as early as pre-school! It is a great way to safely introduce a non-experience horse person to a horse's movement and personality. It is also great cross training for other equestrian disciplines. NO horse knowledge or experience is necessary!
Do I need to bring a horse? No! A vaulting horse spends a lot of time in special training lessons. Wade and Gus are Two Rivers’ vaulting horses and they love their jobs! Their biographies can be found on the next tab!
How do lessons work? Lessons are taken and billed through Two Rivers Equestrian Center. Group lessons range from 4-6 students and are usually an 1.5 hours long depending on the level of the vaulter. A monthly fee will be taken depending on the level of the vaulter and number of classes a week. The monthly fee is annual but broken down into monthly installments.
Do I have to compete? Not at all! We love vaulters who prefer to focus on just enjoying and learning in a lesson environment. There is no pressure to compete! Lessons take place at Two Rivers Equestrian Center and competing will be done separately as a member of Two Rivers Vaulting Club Non-profit.
Is it a team or individual sport? Both! Vaulters can participate as individuals, a pair, or on a team. This is the only equestrian sport that really utilizes a team spirit. At Two Rivers we encourage the team mentality and believe that vaulting without a relationship to a horse, teammate or coach means nothing in light of Eternity.
What does it mean to be a member of Two Rivers Non-Profit? There is an annual membership fee that helps cover the annual costs of the non-profit. Participation is required for all fundraising efforts. There are also corporate sponsorship. The goal of all fundraising is to help fund competition costs. These include team compulsory unitards, the competition fees for the lunger and horses, as well as travel costs for the Coach, Lunger & Horses. This helps makes competitions more affordable for the vaulter.
What do I wear? Clothes: spandex or leggings and a snug shirt or a fitted sweatshirt in colder weather is great. Boys can wear sweatpants and a snug shirt. Shoes: vaulting shoes can be purchased for around $20. We recommend these shoes from the Discount Dance Website. Bobby's Dance Wear in Omaha also sells them if you would like to get fitted before purchasing. We recommend getting a size larger so you can layer up on socks when it gets colder out. We usually have a coupon so give a call before purchasing your shoes. For new vaulters, soft tennis shoes are fine for the first couple of lessons.
Is Vaulting on Youtube.com? Yes! Here is a link to some of our favorite vaulting freestyles! Click Here