A group in a vaulting contest

Gymnastics and dance

Equestrian vaulting is most often described as gymnastics and dance on horseback, which can be practiced both competitively or non-competitively. Vaulting has a history as an equestrian act at circuses, but its origins stretch back at least two-thousand years. It is open to both men and women, and is one of ten equestrian disciplines recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (Fédération Équestre Internationale or FEI).  Therapeutic or interactive vaulting is also used as an activity for children and adults who may have balance, attention, gross motor skill, or social deficits.

Working terrain

Riding hall

Rest place/daily stay

Box and paddock

Horse characteristics

A vaulting horse is a large-framed horse with a long back. Vaulting horses have particularly good nerves which is very important for this sport. 

Horses behaviour

There are no particular problems when shoeing vaulting horses. Their strong nerves make them mostly simple to shoe. 

Shoeing location

Normal shoeing places in their stable. 


Vaulting horses are mainly ridden on soft riding hall and riding arena surfaces which requires a good supportive shoe. Because the vaulting movement is always anti-clockwise in training and in competition this means that the burden on the limbs on the left side is more pronounced and therefore requires special attention. The shoeing intervals should be kept short in order to avoid overloading in the curved line. 

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