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Vaulting

Vaulting can be defined as gymnastics on the back of a moving horse. It is one of the seven disciplines recognised by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and one of the three Coaching Disciplines in RDA Australia.

Vaulting is an area of equestrian activity that involves riders performing gymnastic exercises on barrels before progressing to a moving horse while on a lunge rein.

The main purpose of vaulting is to introduce and train young riders from the age of 5 or 6 on how to treat and trust horses and secondly as a form of competitive sport.

In RDA it is used to help develop riders’ skills and overcome any rider problems such as fear or difficulty balancing.


The horse is a powerful motivator and this activity has developed huge amounts of fitness and self esteem in the participants. The increase in motor skills, balance and coordination along with teamwork and discipline is there for all to see.


Vaulting is a sound basis to learn riding skills and should not be seen as merely jumping on and off, but sessions that allow participants to work within a group sharing not only the horse but also their experiences. It allows time to watch, relate and to explore feel, rhythm, timing and balance.

Vaulting is an integrated activity within RDA, with able bodied riders learning to work with those with disabilities and special needs and support them throughout their sessions together.

This is a great activity for teaching children to understand the needs of others within their team. It also helps riders to overcome problems with personal space.

The vaulter gains harmony with the horse whilst having no responsibility for the control of the animal. The time spent in gaining trust and confidence in their own ability leads to greater security.

The inclusion of vaulting within RDA activities opened yet another channel for our riders to improve their skills with many of the elements required in this discipline being essential transferable life skills.