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Thread: Vaulting Surcingle

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    Default Vaulting Surcingle

    Hey guys! I have checked messages every once in awhile, but haven't posted in a good long time. I graduated from my Feldenkrais training and hope to start a practice in the near future. Met a couple of horsey people in the training and we have study groups on occassion. One woman and I go out most Saturdays and practice Feldenkrais on horses. It is loads of fun.

    My daughters are starting to want to play with vaulting again. A couple of years ago they learned to stand up while their horses were walking, but that was as far as it go. Now Martha is just dying to do more vaulting with Skyline. I am thinking about buying a vaulting surcingle, but wonder if there is anything I should know before I buy one. Do I need to worry about the fit on the withers or are they more or less one size fits all (I do know that there are pony, cob, horse and large horse, but beyond that is one going to be as good as any other for fit?). What about quality? I see two kinds. One is professional and one is basic. How far can she go with the basic one? I don't want to spend $200 now and then in a very short time turn around and buy another one for $300, rather than just buying the $300 one in the first place. However, I don't want to buy the more expensive one if the basic one will be fine for years to come.

    Thanks,
    Kim

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    Staff SallyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimHoward
    Hey guys! I have checked messages every once in awhile, but haven't posted in a good long time. I graduated from my Feldenkrais training and hope to start a practice in the near future. Met a couple of horsey people in the training and we have study groups on occassion. One woman and I go out most Saturdays and practice Feldenkrais on horses. It is loads of fun.

    My daughters are starting to want to play with vaulting again. A couple of years ago they learned to stand up while their horses were walking, but that was as far as it go. Now Martha is just dying to do more vaulting with Skyline. I am thinking about buying a vaulting surcingle, but wonder if there is anything I should know before I buy one. Do I need to worry about the fit on the withers or are they more or less one size fits all (I do know that there are pony, cob, horse and large horse, but beyond that is one going to be as good as any other for fit?). What about quality? I see two kinds. One is professional and one is basic. How far can she go with the basic one? I don't want to spend $200 now and then in a very short time turn around and buy another one for $300, rather than just buying the $300 one in the first place. However, I don't want to buy the more expensive one if the basic one will be fine for years to come.

    Thanks,
    Kim
    Kim:

    So good to see you back! Lynne and I wonder how you’re doing, and it sounds like you’ve been really busy this summer. I can’t help you much about fitting a surcingle for vaulting, that’s a pretty special piece of equipment I know little about. If it’s like a harness surcingle, the “saddle” will not be resting on the withers at all, but behind it. I’m sure the proper fit to the horse is really important, not only for comfort for the horse, but also safety for the vaulter.

    I did a search and found these two sites. On the first you should be able to find a club near you. They’d be able to help you, I’m sure. The other is an outfitter, ironically the same name as your horse. There’s more there than just surcingles. The vaulting club may let you know if there is other equipment needed. Also, it may just be cheaper to have your daughters join a club.

    http://www.americanvaulting.org/cgi-...ist&region=III

    http://www.skylineequine.com/vaultingsupplies.html
    Sally, Horses staff


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    Default Vaulting Surcingle

    Holy Smokes!!! I just talked to a couple of clubs in our area and it turns out a vaulting surcingle runs upwards of $1000. I had absolutely no idea that they would be that expensive. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be in the cards for us.

    Kim

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    Quote Originally Posted by khoward1999
    Holy Smokes!!! I just talked to a couple of clubs in our area and it turns out a vaulting surcingle runs upwards of $1000. I had absolutely no idea that they would be that expensive. Unfortunately, I don't think that will be in the cards for us.

    Kim
    Kim:

    Could your girls join a club? Do they require you to have your own horse and equipment? I thought they used already trained horses.
    Sally, Horses staff


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    Default Vaulting Surcingle

    We are going to visit a club tomorrow. It is fairly close. They charge $80 a month to participate. One problem is that the whole point of this was for Martha and Sky to bond more. Hmm... I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

    Kim

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    Quote Originally Posted by khoward1999
    We are going to visit a club tomorrow. It is fairly close. They charge $80 a month to participate. One problem is that the whole point of this was for Martha and Sky to bond more. Hmm... I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

    Kim
    I'm going to jump in here and make an observation based on well over 25 yrs of training experience. Unless Sky is a trained vaulting horse it would be better to stay with horses that have already been trained in that endeavor. Trying to train a horse and rider at the same time can be frustrating at the very least and has the potential for causing more harm than good. If Martha wants to vault then she should do it with trainers and horses that are experienced in vaulting. Martha and Sky can bond doing other things like trail riding for fun. Trying to "learn" together won't necessarily create a bonding experience for Martha and Sky ... in fact, it may do just the opposite. If Martha gets discouraged because Sky isn't cooperating then she's going to start harboring resentment because of it ... and Sky could pick up some bad habits due to the confusion. It would be far better for Martha to learn on a seasoned vaulting horse then down the road if she wants to work with Sky as a vaulting horse then put some time into training Sky specifically for that purpose. Vaulting horses require very specific traits and that needs to be considered before even contemplating using Sky as a vaulting horse.
    Marci DeLisle
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    Default Vaulting Surcingle

    We went and watched the vaulting club practice last Saturday and I am here to report back, as promised.

    It was fun to see the things the girls in the club could do. There were 4 members of the club there the day we went. We watched them do work on the barrel and also on the horse. They are having a competition on Saturday and we are going down to watch for a few hours.

    We were able to talk to the coach and ask him questions about surcingles. He said that the very expensive ones ($1000 and up) are necessary for advanced riders because they have so many more possibilities for hand holds. He mentioned the one that Sally gave me a link for at Skyline Equine and said that is the one they want to get for the beginners in their club.

    One thing that the coach mentioned was that Quarter Horses have weaker coupling in the loins, so don't hold up well to vaulting. He said you could certainly have only one person at a time on the horse. Sally, what is your input on this one? I would not imagine that any of the moves done over the withers - headstands and such would cause difficulty in the loins. The scissors could cause problems initially, especially if the horse collapses in their back when the rider comes down into the saddle. But I would think that once the rider learned the manuever they would come down fairly softly and the horse could be taught to round their back so that the landing carries through all four feet, rather than just through the back. Of course, given his input, we would not even consider putting a second person on the horse, because then the weight of the riders is going to be carried further back and into the loins. My sense at this point is that a good vaulter would cause way less problems in a horses back and loin than a poor rider. A poor rider would be bouncing all over the horses back and misusing their cues such that the horse would end up strung out and not using themselves in a way that is conducive to carrying a rider. I need to study the moves a little more closely and see if I can get a sense of which ones could cause difficulty for a Quarter Horse.

    Marci, I appreciate your concern about Martha and Sky learning vaulting together, but what we are doing is not nearly that serious. We are not expecting Sky to be a perfect vaulting horse on the end of a lunge line. I hold Sky while Martha practices the moves on Sky's back for now and I am sure that she will eventually progress to a walk and maybe beyond. It is a great way to learn balance, teamwork with the horse, an awareness of your sense in space, and dozens of other things. My friends and I did the same type of stuff when I was in college, but we didn't have anyone holding our horses. We could do the scissors, round-the-world, swing up from the ground to mount a bareback horse, jump on the horse from the ground over their rump... It was all just fun for us and for the horse. We have some friends who's daughters ride and they are able to lope their horses standing on the horse's back. Martha is very tuned into Sky and if Sky doesn't like a particular move, Martha won't do it or she will find a way to make it comfortable for Sky. Our first guiding principle is the safety of both Martha and Sky.

    The vaulting club charges $20 per session or $80 a month. It seems like a really nice group of people and I think it would be fun for Martha to be involved. However, we cannot afford both the vaulting surcingle and lessons so we will have to make a choice for now. Martha is leaning more towards the surcingle at this point. We have a friend who does some welding so Mark is going to talk to him about helping us put together a vaulting barrel so Martha can learn off Sky's back. I need to look into the problems with Quarter Horses and vaulting a little more, to be sure we are not jeopardizing Sky's health, before I make a decision.

    I am not sure what direction we will go with this at this point, but I'll keep you updated.

    Kim

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    Default Vaulting

    Kim - It sounds like you are probably on the right track by checking out a local club. I may be wrong, but it sounds like you might have gone to a Cascade vaulters practice. They are definitely and active club and should be able to help you get started. I am actually Treasurer for Region III (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska) of the American Vaulting Association so if you have questions that they can't answer, let me know and I can probably help you find the answers you need.

    As far as Surcingle, if you kids are going to be competitive or do much beyond a walk, you will want at least a decent surcingle. It doesn't really need to be a truly competitive surcingle, but should allow for a variety of handholds and have enough support to allow for trot and canter mounts. The cheapest surcingle that I would recommend for someone doing trot or maybe canter, but that isn't competitive would be one of these two:

    Well, I would post links, but apparently this website is a POS and doesn't want me to be able to help you out...... So the long way to this is.....

    Look up Skyline Equine. On their website go to vaulting supplies and look at their beginning surcingle

    Look up Pegasus Vaulting Supply. On their website go to surcingles and look at their PE surcingle.

    Neither one is really going to help the vaulter with mounts or flight, but would suffice for a while.

    As far as using Quarter Horses, I think it is highly horse specific, and with any horse that you choose to use for vaulting you should spend ample time working the horse in dressage so that it learns how to use its body properly, maintain a circle, and keep moving at a consistent tempo. My horse is a Belgian/Quarter Horse and he seems to be doing just fine. I know that there are other Quarter Horses and crosses being used in the sport, but I don't know how many of them have issues.

    FYI - There is a competition in Hillsboro, OR this coming Saturday. It is at Fallbrooks Farm, 12040 NW Jackson School Road if you are interested in coming down to watch.

    Good Luck!!!

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    Hi,

    and welcome to the forum. I just wanted to give you a heads up that the post you responded to was posted in August of 2006, so you may not get a response from Kim.
    Janice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain-mama View Post
    Hi,

    and welcome to the forum. I just wanted to give you a heads up that the post you responded to was posted in August of 2006, so you may not get a response from Kim.
    Oops. I wonder why I never ran across this forum before. I am always watching forums for vaulting related posts to help people get the information that they need. It is a sport that is often hard to find information for.

    Kerry

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