Libby and Larissa have been learning about Equestrian Vaulting this week 🙂 Below is some information provided from the Michigan Vaulting Club about this exciting equestrian sport!
"Maybe the least known of the FEI's official disciplines, Equestrian Vaulting is the sport of gymnastics and dance on horseback. Horses, controlled by a longueur, move in a circle while the vaulter performs— leaping from ground to horse and undertaking either a series of compulsory exercises or a freestyle acrobatic routine. Vaulting's roots go back to the ancient Minoans, and was later refined among mounted military teams. The sport was featured as Artistic Riding at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp and was also a demonstration sport at the Atlanta games. It became a recognized FEI discipline in 1983. Today vaulters compete as individuals, pairs – called pas-de-deux – and teams, and demands strength, coordination, rhythm, suppleness and balance from the vaulter as well as the horse. While vaulting is not yet well known in the United States, it is often included in European dressage training. Vaulting develops the seat and balance and provides riders with a deeper awareness of the nuances of horse’s movement. Vaulting also develops the horse's balance, flexibility and gaits. Through vaulting, children and recreational riders acquire important skills such as emergency dismounts as well as increased core strength and balance. Despite vaulting's low visibility in the US, American vaulters have done extremely well in competition. Megan Benjamin won the Vaulting World Championships in 2007—the first American woman to win individual gold. The American FACE team also won silver the same year in team competition. At the FEI World Equestrian games in 2010, Americans will a chance to show the world what American vaulters can do."