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This is a discussion on Vaulting within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category

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    07-16-2011, 05:12 AM

I teach riding to children and young teens. Many have been with me for several years and are asking about vaulting. Does anyone out there have any teaching experience in this area. Any videos? Books ? Instructor aids. I have the vaulting surcingle and 2 horses that would be very good at it. I also have 2 students in particular that I think have great promise. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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    07-16-2011, 03:50 PM
I did some vaulting back in the day, as well as helped organize some summer camp vaulting. I can't suggest any books per-say, just what I have experienced!

Ok, so my first suggestion would be to get a stationary barrel for the kids to practice on. Kids LOVE this (adults too). They tend to be expensive, but you can make your own. Get a barrel-racing barrel, weld it onto a stand and cover the barrel with some carpet or something that'll make it softer. You need to attach a surcingle or weld on some loops like the surcingle has too. If you do group lessons you can't expect beginners to all pile on the horse at once, and something like the barrel will give them something to practice on (or keep them entertained). It's also great to practice mounting/dismounting as well as raise the confidence of the littler ones.

Second, try out the horses yourself first. Some horses will turn foul after a while if whatever their doing is too repetitive. For beginners you want one of those baby-sitter types who'll put up with anything. Once everyone gets better you can move up to a more challenging horse. You also might want to try out the shorter horse first, people sometimes get scared with the tall horses. I learned to vault on a 17h and a 15h horse, and at the beginning the 15h was everyone's favorite. Of course, you can progress again when everyone feels comfortable =)

When teaching vaulting have a goal in mind. Maybe plan to have different "levels" and to do "testing" to level up. Have each level or group contain figures that are appropriate for the skill level, and upon being able to complete the figure the kids will "move up" Maybe plan for a small show. For lessons, also try to work in patterns and have a plan for what figures you want to practice and teach each day. Otherwise vaulting can get a bit random and you'll confuse the riders.

When I was small we also played games around the horse. We would stand in a line and when the lunge line passed around we would hop over it/ duck under it (horse was moving at walk) The most important part is to keep everyone entertained, including the horse. If you're just having fun then you can switch up directions too.

I hope this helps, and vaulting is really fun, so I hope you can teach it =) I'm not an expert, I just wanted to share what i've seen over the years =)
    07-16-2011, 07:32 PM
All help is greatly appreciated and needed.
    07-16-2011, 08:34 PM
Super Moderator
I have a nine year old student who vaults. She just started competing and qualified for regionals. I am NOT her vaulting coach, but her riding coach. She travels to Virginia and studies with a coach from France. It is such a wonderful addition to her skills.

This is Helen practicing

This is practicing on the barrel that her parents had made. This can show you what they are like

She was doing vaulting at the walk (which is a category). This last competition only had trot in her class. She had to "suck it up" and do it for the first time...

Here she is with her older team mate and coach at the last competition

The barrel competition

If I can figure out how to post her video, I have her compulsory class.

And the results (she's the little one)

Google horse vaulting. You should be able to get all kinds of info.

Here is Helen with her regular riding. I love this kid!!!

    07-17-2011, 12:29 AM
These are fantastic photos, I will show them to my girls. My one girl that wants to learn is a level 5 gymnast and she is just a tiny thing, her balance is marvelous, I think she would excel at this sport. My other gal is also a tiny thing, only 10 yrs old, but will and wants to do just about anything horse related. Is the big black horse Helen is on a draft horse. One of my horses I want to use is Percheron.
    07-17-2011, 09:11 PM
I've seen lots of vaulting horses and you get a mixed bunch. I've seen everything from what looked like a saddlebred (very confused there) to Percheron or Clydesdale horses. I learned to vault on a small haflinger. If you have little girls then you don't have to worry about the horse's size. The saddlebred looking horse carried four adults (not well though) so i'm sure any horse can carry two little girls. Most of the horses i've seen have been predominantly Percheron crosses. They tend to have nice temperaments.

You could also maybe see if there are any vaulting clubs around and ask for their advice. If your girls get good they might want to compete in a team, and you need more than 2 people generally.

Best of luck, and post some pics if you do a lesson!
    07-17-2011, 09:52 PM
Theres not a vaulting club in the state of Alaska as far as I know. Closest is probably in the state of Washington. I just want to give these gals the opportunity to do it then if they want to try to compete we can haul them out of here. I am going to have my husband make one of those barrels though. Getting the girls and horses out of here for competition will be a long and expensive process. Not like loading in a trailer and hitting the road. We have a 36 hour ferry ride before we can hit the highway. HUMPH !!!!!!
    07-18-2011, 01:54 AM
Lol, I should have thought of that... oh well I wish you the best of luck, hopefully everyone will have fun. If you're really serious you might want to order some vaulting shoes and maybe even some suits (once they get better). The shoes have soles that help you stay on the pad or horse, and will probably be useful =)
    07-22-2012, 09:58 AM
I have a question, my barn has a vaulting team. Two girls travel two states away to compete with a competitive team but the rest of us (three of us) just do exhibitions and might do a few comps here and there. We are currently using a 14.2hh pony that likes to take off, buck once and a wile, or just stop. We decided to try using my horse who is a 16.1hh friesian gelding who my friend (not on the team) and I take vaulting lessons on. But my horse is recovering from a muscle injury and before that he had his hocks injected. My instructor and I thought it would be good for him to be a vaulting horse because it wouldnt put a ton of stress on him. DOES IT?
    07-26-2012, 02:26 PM
Super Moderator
Well, it isn't easy to trot or canter circles all the time. They always go one direction which puts stress on the inside legs.

Few horses are both trot AND canter horses. They are one or the other. That said, Prince, the trot horse my students mother now owns, has a wonky left front foot and always has had it. Surprisingly, he is sound, even with all the vault work. Maybe it isn't so bad after all.

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