What it is & where it came from.
Equestrian Vaulting is commonly described as gymnastics and dance performed on the back of a moving horse.
Vaulting has origins that stretch back to at least two thousand years. It is even believed that vaulting could be traced to the ancient Roman Games, where acrobats displayed their skill on cantering horses. Others believe that it originated in ancient Crete, where tricks were preformed on that back of bulls. Renaissance and Middle Age history include many references to vaulting.
Modern vaulting was developed in Germany as a means to introduce children to equestrian sports and remains a popular sport all over Europe. Competitive vaulting is relatively new in the United States arriving in the 1950s. The first official competition for the U.S. was held in 1969.
Since then, the sport of Equestrian Vaulting has grown and developed into the enjoyable sport it is today.
Vaulting routines (team, individual, and freestyle) are performed on the back of a horse, traveling in a circle while being lunged on the end of a lunge line by a skilled lunger. At many events there are even competitions on a stationary barrel. Either on the horse or barrel, competitors are judged on their ability to smoothly execute compulsory movements, demonstrating strength, flexibility, and balance, while facing all four directions and cover all parts of the horse/barrel from neck to croup, during their routines. They are also evaluated on the technical difficulty and artistic expression associated with freestyle routines. Additionally, a portion of every overall score is secured by considering the horse’s quality and consistency of gait.
Vaulting offers enthusiasts the opportunity to develop coordination, balance, strength and creativity while working harmoniously with both fellow teammates and the horse itself.