The Graceful Art of Equestrian Vaulting: A Conversation with Haley from the US Equestrian Team
Our guest, Haley, a member of the United States Equestrian Team, offers an insightful glimpse into this unique and demanding sport.
Haley's Journey into Vaulting: Haley shares her journey, which began on a family farm in Denver, Colorado. With a background in jumping, she discovered vaulting at a local club in Golden, Colorado. Haley's passion for the sport was ignited from her very first lesson, leading her to pursue it professionally and become an advocate for vaulting.
Understanding Equestrian Vaulting: Equestrian vaulting is often misunderstood as something akin to pole vaulting with horses. Haley explains it as a blend of gymnastics, dance, and acrobatics performed on a cantering horse. The sport requires a harmonious balance of technical and artistic skills, similar to figure skating.
Training and Physical Fitness: Vaulting demands exceptional physical fitness. Haley outlines her rigorous training regimen, which includes professional gymnastics, dance, and sports training. Equestrian vaulters must be agile, with strong core muscles to perform complex routines while maintaining a connection with the horse.
The Bond with Horses in Vaulting: In vaulting, the relationship with the horse is pivotal. Vaulters often adapt to different horses in international competitions, showcasing their ability to connect with various equine partners. Haley highlights the importance of training horses in dressage to develop their balance and physical strength.
A Day in the Life of a Vaulter: Haley describes her daily routine, involving horse care, riding vaulting and dressage horses, and balancing her university studies. She also works with Clip My Horse TV, conducting interviews and managing social media for equestrian events.
Travel and Competitions: Competitive vaulting has taken Haley across the U.S. and Europe. She shares her experiences of traveling for competitions and the mental and emotional preparation involved in performing at a high level.
Advice for Aspiring Vaulters: For those interested in trying equestrian vaulting, Haley recommends reaching out to local vaulting clubs. She encourages riders of all disciplines to try vaulting, as it broadens their skill set and offers a unique perspective on equestrian sports.
Haley's Memorable Moments: Reflecting on her career, Haley recalls the 2021 Championships as a standout moment. After the challenges of COVID-19, her team's ability to come together and win bronze medals in the squad division and pas de deux was a testament to their unity and resilience.
Haley's passion for equestrian vaulting shines through in this interview, offering listeners an in-depth look at a sport that combines the beauty of dance and gymnastics with the majesty of horses.
Listen & watch Haley's episode below!