The world of horseback riding has a variety of different disciplines to compete in, from showjumping to barrel racing. There is also dressage, which is essentially a fancy term for horse dancing. Then there is vaulting, which combines horses and serious gymnastics.
The New York Times explains, “Vaulting maneuvers include mounts and dismounts, shoulder stands, handstands, lifting another vaulter and kneeling and standing exercises, according to the Fédération Équestre Internationale, the sport’s governing body. The horse is controlled on a long line by the lunger, who keeps the horse cantering on a steady rhythm.”
Here is an example of a winning vaulting performance from the 2018 FEI World Cup Vaulting Finals:
Video via FEI/YoutTube
Vaulting is not for the faint of heart. It is physically demanding and requires a unique relationship between the vaulters and their horses.
Starting on September 11, in the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, which are held once every four years, top equestrians will start competing for world titles in showjumping, dressage, three-day eventing, cross country, vaulting and driving.
The best vaulters in the world will be competing at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina starting on Tuesday, September 18. For more information about where to tune in and check out this crazy but amazing sport, check out FEI’s schedule of events and channels.
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