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Is Equestrian Vaulting Cruel? Know Here!

Is Equestrian Vaulting Cruel
  • Even though vaulting is the safest discipline among equestrian sports, it is also cruel for the horses in many ways. Philosophically vaulting is cruel as no creature in this free world would like to be commanded and trained for benefit of their owner, many horse riders have a different perspective about the cruelty involved in vaulting and other equestrian sports.
  • It is equally dependent on both rider and horse as to how they coordinate and develop Inter-species communications while performing stunts in a vaulting session.

What is Equestrian Vaulting?

Is Equestrian Vaulting Cruel
  • Equestrian vaulting aka horseback vaulting refers to the practices of various steps of gymnastics and dance on horseback for sporting reasons such as showcasing and competing.
  • Vaulting is more often considered as both art and athleticism, even though it involves athletics such as gymnastics it is only been contested once in the 1920 summer Olympics and since then it has been excluded from each format.
  • Equestrian vaulting has now been an artistic showcase presentation for a long time.

Why vaulting is cruel?

  • Before knowing why it is cruel toward horses you need to understand the domestication of the animal. Modern horses are evolved from wild horses which practically don’t seem to exist in today’s time thinking rationally horses can face cruelty as they are bred in captivity by humans when they are not allowed to explore the world on their own.
  • Despite being considered cruel horse riding is also somehow beneficial for horses, horses are capable of not only carrying the weight on their back but also dragging carts, in old times, the spines of horses have developed with time to do such kind of work.
  • While practising vaulting, Riders also tend to undervalue the relationship between them and the horse. For some riders there is no Psychological bond between him/her and their horse, they only use them for their benefit.
  •  The factors like Pulling at the bit, Flapping the horse’s legs, giving and giving confusing commands are also irritating for horses and they will respond by jerking themselves and refusing to co-operate. These actions of Immature riders are proof of why Equestrian Vaulting is a cruel sport.
  • While Vaulting your horse will only co-operate when the trust between the pair is linked with practices and skills.
  • And of course, the bad rider can cause discomfort as It also depends on the behaviour of the rider, the riders who don’t spend much time working on their balance usually experience some resistance from Their horses for letting them climb on their back again. The technical reasons why a horse might feel uncomfortable by your ignorance are: –
  • Lameness issues
  • Back problems
  • Some troubles beneath saddles
  • Previous traumas
  • The fact that proves that equestrian vaulting is cruel for horses is that Vaulting involves an immense investment of time in training and making their horse overwork which later results in feeling fatigued. And when horses are fatigued they generally require more time to rehabilitate.

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In which ways do horses react while being unhappy?

  1. Change behaviour and attitude into stable, acting aggressive and withdrawn
  2. The horse also develops bad habits such as incorporation, weaving and kicking.
  3. Stubbornness and spooking developing during training time.
  4. Change install habits creating messy surroundings
  5. Change in appetite by refusing grains or rapidly grains.

History of equestrian vaulting

  • Vaulting originated from ancient roman games, where acrobatic skills while riding on a horse’s back were displayed, humans have been performing acrobatic and dancing skills on animals’ backs for almost 2,000 years now.
  • In 1983, vaulting became one of the disciplines recognized by FEL. The first championship in Europe has held in Austria in 1984, and 1st world vaulting championship was held in 1986 in Switzerland. And was later on included in the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm in 1990.
  • The first world cup vaulting competition was held in Leipzig, Germany on 29 April 2011.

About competitions in equestrian vaulting

  • In competitions of vaulting, vaulters are supposed to compete in pairs as it is a team game, Both Horse and rider are judged on a scale of 1-10.
  • Vaulting competitions comprise determined exercises and choreographed freestyle exercises done with rhythms of music playing while the Horse moves a minimum of 15 meters in a diametrical circle.
  • There are 7 compulsory exercises to be performed and showcased while you are judged on a scale of 0-10:
  • Mount
  • Basic seating
  • Flag
  • Mill
  • Scissoring
  • Stand
  • Flanking
  • Vaulters compete in both team and individual games, Team game lasts for at least 4 minutes while individual games and freestyle last for 1 and 2 minutes respectively.
  • FREESTYLE VAULTING: – This includes mounting and dismounting, handshakes with partnering animals, kneeling, and aerial moves. Many of these skills are only witnessed on the highest levels. Judging is based on your technique, performance, and balance & security while performing.
  • The vaulting horses are never saddled instead, they have a thick back pad. And the surcingle has special handles to aid the vaulter in showcasing certain moves of high intensity.
  • The world and continental vaulting championships are held every 4 years. In many states vaulting is organized annually and as of 2011, there are 24 such countries.
Is Equestrian Vaulting Cruel

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How can you keep your horse good and happy?

  • Providing ample roughage: Food is provided to the horse in form of grains and hay. In the case of a horse, it generally takes approximately 2 days to process the food. Sometimes horses deny to consume the roughage because of getting bored of hays but it is instrumental as it doesn’t fill their appetite.
  • Freshwater: Water helps the grass and grains to digest properly in the horse’s gut. Not taking enough water will result in developed complications in stomachs just as poor humans. And the owner should make sure that he provides his horse with good quality hay and freshwater.
  • Partners: Just like other animals horses also like to enjoy their time in the company of buddies, being in the company of others helps the horses to be in a happy mental state.
  • Routine: Horses have a natural clock in their heads so you have to be on time and spot-on providing them with their food, taking them to train and other factors that comcometh routine. Taking care of your horse means you have to go past your daily routine and you should be able to give your time and involve yourself in trust-building and other elements of Equestrian.
  • Downtime: the horses need downtime if he lives in a busy barn with very limited barn turnout time, putting him on work or having him work round pen may give him exercise.
  • Farriers: Hooves grow like a human nails and are frequently required to be trimmed. A horse needs the hooves attended to every 4-5 weeks depending on the horse’s age and season. In summer, horses need the farrier more frequently as more moisture in the ground causes the hooves to wear more quickly. However, in the winter season hooves stay dry and the horse can cover long-distance trains for much longer times before having a visit from the farrier.
  • Trimming and shoeing: Every horse is required to get its hooves attended to very frequently. Some horses can go barefoot due to their sole strength and comfortability. These types of horses are required to attend more often. Some of the horses need shoes to be put on them to support their mobility and protection from pebbles that might cause injuries and sometimes permanent damage.
  • Vet care: Adult horses require the attention of the Vet at least once annually to get a physical exam, and also get vaccinated to the prevention of diseases. However, depending on injuries and illnesses the horse might need extra care from the vet which will add up to your bills. Horses need annual vaccines to prevent any chances of them getting ill. Many owners prefer to give these vaccines to their horses by themselves.
  • Providing him with a job: Horses prefer to spend their time doing something qualitative and productive, many owners are fortunate enough to have a horse that knows his job properly. For example, cutting horses, they love what they do in their time. Another good suggestion is Therapeutic-riding in which horses move with their precious cargo.


Is Equestrian Vaulting Cruel
  • With our rational judgments and thinking we can simply figure out just like cows, cats and dogs. A Horse is also a domesticated animal as there is no existence of wild horses in modern times, Yes and of course, Equestrian Vaulting is a cruel sport but considering the facts the horses also enjoy the company of a human. In the history of human civilization, it has been concluded that horses use to work for humans, but the times have changed and now it is humans who work for the horses.
  • But we cannot justify the fact that in some ways horses have to act differently as per their owner’s convenience, resulting in getting hurt.

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