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Vaulting horses?

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  • #21
    There were a few knee injuries at this competition ... I saw the same fall and would surmise it's most likely ACL. Anna Cavellaro of Italy also went out with a knee injury after tech test. It looked like an unfortunate misaligned landing where the momentum plus centrifugal force is heading a different direction from the knee joint which is a pesky single-directional hinge joint.

    99% of vaulting injuries are orthopedic ... knees, elbows, ankles. (No helmets actually helps here. Helmets are bulky and the straps could get caught on the surcingle leading to a broken neck. Someday helmet technology will be there for vaulters, but not yet.)

    So all the vaulters out on knee injuries will most likely follow a standard 6-week + rehab (similar to skiing or any other knee injury rehab) ... and will most likely continue vaulting as soon as they're physically able to get near a horse.

    At this level, dismounts for individual must be a "D" level or higher (round-off, back tuck, aerial, etc. Interestingly, a handstand pirouette off is not a high enough degree of difficulty) ... so most vaulters will do that in PDD unless there is a specific reason not to.

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    • #22
      That's really interesting and glad to hear it's usually some time off and back to it. Thanks!

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      • #23
        Originally posted by M'al View Post
        99% of vaulting injuries are orthopedic ... knees, elbows, ankles. (No helmets actually helps here. Helmets are bulky and the straps could get caught on the surcingle leading to a broken neck. Someday helmet technology will be there for vaulters, but not yet.)
        While I can grasp the logic behind that, it seems so counterintuitive. Especially since I would think that vaulters probably hit the ground a LOT when they are first learning how to do it.

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        • #24
          MHM - LOL, too true! It looks spectacular, but the initial learning is all done mostly right-side-up and mostly holding on. The stuff that's not holding on (stand) is the right-side-up part and the vaulter learns to step off pretty early on.

          After time (when the vaulter is ready) then more challenging and upside-down things are added once the vaulter is a little better at controlling rotation and landing feet-side down. Most coaches insist on a somersault after coming off on general principles, so all manner of sand and whatnot come home in vaulters' hair!

          In the US, we have a non-FEI progression of walk, then several levels of trot, then the first canter level is called Copper. At Copper level, the vaulter may NOT perform any leaps off the horse's back or ground jumps (AKA down-ups.) No degree of difficulty is calculated as part of scoring so it's pretty much a routine based on composition (how well the vaulter incorporates all areas of the horse such as neck, back, croup, facing inside, outside, frontwards and backwards.) this roughly corresponds with FEI 1* as 1* compulsories are performed. Also, dismounts are strictly prescribed and MANY are prohibited.

          Next level is bronze, which is where degree of difficulty is first added to freestyle scoring. This roughly corresponds with FEI 2* (although the scoring is a bit different) since the 2* compulsory set is done here. At bronze, vaulters add the leaps (must be 12 inches or higher to count as a leap) and the down-ups to freestyle.

          Next US level is silver, where most of the FEI 2* vaulters hang out. This is the same as bronze (still 2* compulsories) but the scoring is tougher in that the "easy" rated moves count towards composition but not towards degree of difficulty. Most moves in freestyle should be "medium", "difficult" and "risk" moves are able to be added. Here is where the dismount moves to needing to be D or higher to receive a score.

          Final US level is gold, where compulsories are 3* and the tech test is required. A vaulter builds their freestyle around what they're really good at (and minimizes the other stuff) ... but tech test makes them do moves that are pretty difficult PLUS being required so they can't, for instance, not do a backwards facing strength-plus-flexibility move that is absolutely terrifying. LOL. Add to that a minimum required score for individual to be considered for worlds selection.

          Working with green horses is a bit different, but that's the same as riding ... greenies come with a different set of challenges and are not for everyone.

          Sorry to respond with a lecture, lol, I get excited whenever anyone shows an interest! Hopefully it gives insight into the sport a bit and why it can be so adrenaline-filled and yet also provide that good horse-smell-and-snuggle fix.

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