Equestrian vaulting is often described as gymnastics on horseback. You don’t need to be able to ride to have a go at vaulting, but if you do ride then vaulting can greatly improve your riding skills.
In training and competition, the horse is controlled by a lunger. The horse moves in a 15-metre circle, while the vaulter(s) performs exercises on the horse's back using specialist equipment, first in walk and then at canter. Vaulters with a background in dance, martial arts, gymnastics generally do well at this sport. With the use of music, vaulters work as a team to carry out a routine, but there is also the opportunity for vaulters to perform individually as well as in pairs or trios.
There are vaulting groups around the country – most groups cater for children from 5 years upwards, with adult sessions available at some centres. Vaulting training sessions combine skills such as dance and gymnastics to help to develop confidence, balance and harmony with the horse. Being part of a vaulting group is a lot of fun.
There are about 500 people across the country who take part in equestrian vaulting across about 25 clubs. British Equestrian Vaulting is the governing body for the sport in the UK. They hold training courses, perform demos and also run 'have a go' days. They also hold affiliated competitions from March to October, with events for all abilities running throughout the year.
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