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Back on the Vaulting Pad

By Kim Abbott

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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I recently had a vaulting lesson for the first time in a few months. Although I was wary about my muscles and the cold weather, it was worth it! The horse I worked with just moved into Lexington from Tennessee, and before parting ways, his owner gave me and another vaulter a lesson on him. Diesel is a gold-level vaulting horse, and his calm, tolerant demeanor and smooth gaits are proof. Another fitting attribute for him is his name. This Clydesdale/Thoroughbred cross is thick and 17.2 hands, which I didn't know at the time; probably a good thing because I was already a little nervous about his size (which I incorrectly assumed to be around 16 hands). However, I felt comfortable as soon as I got on (with a little assistance!), and he took good care of me throughout the lesson.

Lily was our teacher for the day, and she had many helpful tips for me. For example, when mounting, it's important to throw my upper body forward and work to get my right shoulder on the horse's shoulder (as if I'm going up into a shoulder/hand stand) as I swing my right leg up for momentum. When working on the scissors, she told me to lay my upper body on the horse's neck as I swung my legs forward, then backward and up in the air behind me. On top of that, I needed to keep my entire body tight throughout the maneuvers, especially my core muscles. It all helped to make some of the exercises I've struggled with from the beginning much easier. I even stood up on Diesel's back, a tremendous feat for me!

Hopefully it won't be so long before my next lesson. I can't wait to get back into it again. I made sure to ask for vaulting shoes for Christmas!

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Kim    Lexington, KY

12/10/2009 9:18:12 AM

Petra,
I haven't tried mounting a moving horse yet, but I have a hard time imagining that I'll be able to do it! I am 5'5".

Petra Z. McGowan    Winnipeg, Canada, MB

12/9/2009 4:19:00 PM

good to hear about your latest vaulting adventures...17.2 high - wow, that is a tall boy...when it is time to learn how to jump from the ground onto a horse in motion it will be quite a challenge...how tall are you? keep us posted...

Katie    Clarington, OH

12/9/2009 9:33:07 AM

sounds fun

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