American Vaulting Association Offers Summer Day Camps This July


Introduction to Vaulting camps are part of an plan to have vaulting in the 2010 WEGs
Photo courtesy American Vaulting Association

As part of a key initiative to bring equestrian vaulting to the home of the World Equestrian Games 2010, the American Vaulting Association (AVA) will host a series of “Introduction to Vaulting” summer day camps and clinics in the greater Kentucky area throughout July.   The top U.S. coaches and equestrian vaulters will teach participants dance and gymnastics routines on a moving horse.

“Our goal is to introduce this exciting and growing sport to Kentucky and surrounding states this summer, and to give riding instructors and equestrian facilities the tools to start 20 new vaulting programs throughout the region within the next year,” said Sheri Benjamin, AVA president. 

During each three-day camp, the AVA will run dual tracks: a “train the trainer” program designed to teach riding instructors how to coach vaulting, and an “Introduction to Vaulting” camp for riders and athletes who want to learn the sport.

“It’s an ideal way to develop coordination, balance, strength, and creativity while working in harmony with your equine partner,” said Benjamin. “If you love horses, gymnastics, dance and fun, you’re a perfect candidate for vaulting!”

Vaulting is an excellent equestrian activity to help riders develop a better seat, posture and communication with the horse.  For non-equestrian athletes, including gymnasts and dancers, vaulting helps improve overall balance, flexibility and core strength.

For those who prefer a custom session, the AVA is offering on-site half-day clinics throughout July, designed to bring vaulting directly to equestrian facilities in the greater Kentucky area, including the surrounding states.  The AVA will provide coaches, vaulting horses and all equipment necessary for these sessions. 

The camps will be held July 13-15 at the Meadow Lake Equestrian Center in Lancaster, and July 20-22 at the Kentucky Equestrian Center in Winchester.  The cost for both instructors and athletes is $150 for the three-day session.  The on-site clinics may be scheduled by request.

To register for the camps or to get more information on the on-site clinics, click on the “Kentucky Camps and Clinics” button on the American Vaulting Association website ( for an on-line brochure, or call the AVA National Office at 323-654-0800.

About Vaulting

Vaulting is both a recreational activity and a competitive discipline where both gymnastic and dance elements are combined and performed to music on a walking, trotting or cantering horse. It requires a harmonious relationship with the horse and outstanding physical condition from the vaulter.

An FEI recognized discipline since 1983, vaulting competitions are held regionally, nationally and worldwide and individuals, pairs and teams all compete in separate events.  This variety creates an engaging experience for spectators as they watch athletes of all ages perform breathtaking routines that include artistic mounts and dismounts, shoulder stands and handstands on the horse, carrying or lifting another vaulter, and kneeling and standing exercises.

Vaulting is a unique and growing sport with a rich heritage traced back to the ancient Minoans and later to Roman soldiers.  It was featured in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp as Artistic Riding and has since evolved into the sport it is today. Vaulting is a wonderful way to develop coordination, balance, strength, and creativity while working in harmony with the horse; it is used around the globe as an introduction to the equestrian world and is recognized as a technique for developing strong riders in all disciplines. 

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  1. Hmm, I’ve always thought that vaulting sounded pretty neat, but it seems less horsey than riding. I mean, obviously you have to learn to be in sync with the horse’s movements, but it’s not like you’re controlling the horse, and it just seems like you wouldn’t be as ‘connected’ with the horse.
    But it does look like a VERY physically demanding sport–you’d HAVE to be in really good shape to go very far with it. I would like to try vaulting some day, if I could only find someone who teaches this.

  2. I’m actually on a Trick Riding drill team, The Midwest Renegades. And we have to trust our horses to run in a circle or a straight line or on a diagnol or whatever we need them to track at that time in our 8 minute drill. We do many different tricks but we have to be VERY connected to our horses and we must both trust each other to know that the other one will be there and do their job. It is very physically demanding but it is loads of fun!! =] we must have great amounts of control of our horses to keep both us and the other 8 riders on the team safe from collisions while we have 8-9 loose horses running “wild & free” around the arena while we are upside down or flipping off our horses. I would like to go to these clinics just to see how they do things in the actual competition and true sport of vaulting.


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