EQUESTRIAN VAULTING - AN ART FORM ON HORSEBACK:
Vaulting, simply described, is a combination of gymnastics and dance on the back of a moving horse. Originally designed by the Roman Legions, vaulting was the accepted method of training cavalry troops for battle until the 19th Century, when machines replaced the horse. InEurope, where cavalry has a rich history, the precise movements required for survival in battle were adapted to 6 compulsory vaulting movements, plus a mount and a dismount; these are judged on precision and harmony with the horse. As with gymnastics and figure skating, vaulting also has a freestyle element, called the kur, and is performed to music. The kur is a one minute freestyle composition and is judged on harmony with the horse, composition, and the degree of difficulty of the movements chosen. The horse’s performance is also judged and receives a score. He is a vital part of the competition because without his ability to canter in a controlled circle at a slow, steady pace the vaulters cannot perform to their best potential.