Vaulting. Vaulting is described as gymnastics and dance performed in harmony on the back of a moving horse. This is an aspect of the horse world that I do not know much about, but I have always enjoyed watching. I am very excited to share my conversation with Mikhail Proctor, an amazing vaulter.
Mikhail got started in the horse world through his own willpower. He started riding when he was five when his aunt took him to ride. He did not come from a family with lots of horse people, but he was able to ride friends' horses. He was able to work at the barn he rode at as a child in exchange for riding time. He began his career trail riding, show jumping, and eventing. He was able to help retrain off the track thoroughbreds, and help them find new homes.
He was first exposed to vaulting in 2009 when he was teaching at a riding camp. Vaulting was an offering for the campers. He was able to appreciate the sport from afar, and enjoy the athleticism that both the riders and horses show. His barn began wanting to expand their offerings from the hunter jumper world, and decided to offer vaulting. He did his research, and began learning vaulting for himself. After gaining this insight into the vaulting world, through clinics and research, he began teaching at his barn. This is something that fell into his lap, and he made the most of it eventually getting to where he is today. While he did not take the traditional route, he was able to find something that he loves within the horse world.
Mikhail believes that anyone can get involved in vaulting, all it takes is a love of horses. Everyone can personalize the way they move through vaulting based on their capabilities and level of comfort. If you click the link here it will take you to a website that Mikhail recommends to help those looking to get started with vaulting as a resource. He believes that this is an extremely close knit and friendly community, and wants people to feel comfortable getting started. He wants to encourage you, and say it doesn’t matter where you come from, or who you are, everyone is supportive, and encourages those who feel they may not fit in to come try!
He wants to encourage all equestrian athletes to celebrate diversity. The little things such as what your tack looks like, or how much your horse cost does not matter. We should be celebrating how big our community is, and the main reason why everyone began riding, the love of horses. Put your mind to something, and get it done. The only person who can stop you, is you. Focus on your journey that helped you get to where you are. Not everyone has the same riding journey, focus on what you learned about horsemanship, life, and yourself because no two stories look the same.