Thursday, July 21, 2011
I found out there's a vaulting school here in Austin, that's where this was filmed at. It also got me to thinking about vaulting. Here are my assessment's so far:
It's BEAUTIFUL to watch.
I asked the girl why they didn't wear helmets in vaulting (I have always wanted to know why that was!) and she said that it was because 1) "vaulting is the safest equestrian sport", 2) it throws them off balance. I'm sorry, but I would be scared poopoo-less if I was standing on a cantering horse without some form of protection! I know "Fabio" is probably quite bombproof, as all vaulting horses probably are, but still! At least she wears a helmet when she rides.
Vaulting is supposed to be very good for balance, and it will definitely help you develop a feel of where the horse is underneath you: something great to know when riding!
According to studies by the FEI, vaulting horses tend to be the happiest, and they are definitely crossed trained, including upper level dressage and hunters (often both!) I mean, LOOK at the muscles and expression on those horses! They have to be truly round, otherwise you'll be riding on a hollow wreck! The horse for Team France in the video link below is one I would LOVE to ride!
It's pretty cool and at the same time terrifying to watch. Let us look at, for example, a small child at the top of a human pyramid upon a galloping horse in a very loud and crowded arena (ignore the costumes, they are French). Cool and terrifying!
I am also loving the Daft Punk music they used (think Tron: Legacy, because they helped to compose the soundtrack!)
And I've always wanted to point this out: it looks like an extremely awkward sport. You are constantly groping your teammates!
But really, I don't know much about vaulting. I had little success in gymnastics when I was a child. I still can't do a cartwheel or a backflip! I can barely somersault without feeling like I'm about to crush each of my vertebrae, because I do it too slowly and cautiously!
Vaulting is probably quite mysterious to us saddle-sitters. It confounds us and fascinates us, or just plain makes us want to say, "What are you? CRAZY?"
Thoughts on "the other white meat" of equestrian sports?
Oh, and vaulters: I really admire what you do. That takes guts and some natural talent that only very few have. And, like I said earlier, to see a horse and rider doing something like that is quite beautiful.