Horse Gymnastics Information
Gymnastics on Horseback
The Early Days of Horse Gymnastics
Horse gymnastics can be traced back to the Pre-Romantic Ice Period in South Scandinavia in 1500 BC. There are records of stone pictures which depict artistic riding with people standing on horses. There were even artistic riding events in the Classical Olympics. The Romans also carried on the horse gymnastics tradition as there was vaulting at the Roman games. These vaulting events consisted of acrobatic and dance movements on the backs of cantering horses.
Gymnastics with Horses - What is Vaulting?
Vaulting is a sport that is growing at a fast rate and is often described as horse gymnastics. The horse is controlled by a lunger and most exercises are performed at a canter. When practicing difficult moves the exercises will be performed at walking speed; some fun classes are also done at a walking pace.
The horse involved in the horse gymnastics will wear a bridle and specially designed roller with two large handles which sit either side of the withers. The roller keeps the back pad in position and the handles are used to carry out various exercises on horseback. You do not need to be able to ride to vault but you will need good balance and trust in horses.
Opportunities with Horse Gymnastics
Vaulting is an all year round sport so you will have plenty of time to practice indoors and outdoors. All vaulters have the opportunity to look after and be a part of caring for the horses. You will usually pay a monthly subscription to the vaulting club and the cost of tuition and caring for the horse will be shared by the group. You can work with other vaulters as part of a team or compete individually.