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Now here’s an experience you don’t see everyday - trick riding on a horse! Horse vaulting and riding tricks are both very much competitive and show sports in the equestrian world that are breathtaking to watch, let alone have a go at yourself!The first thing you should know about trick horse riding is that you don’t actually need to be able to ride a horse to learn tricks. In fact, the gymnastic side of these tricks on horseback are actually learnt on a gymnastics-style piece of equipment called a vault barrel, which is very firmly on the ground and most definitely not moving.So, with expert tuition to guide you, you’ll be making your first aerial moves on the vault. Once you’ve got some of the basics nailed, it’s time to pull off the same tricks, but this time on a moving horse!This is also when one extra element comes into play when horse trick riding; the lunger. This is the person placed in the middle of the ring who effectively acts as the director of the horse. Your hoofed host is attached to the lunge line that the lunger holds and uses to guide the horse around the ring.That means you can concentrate purely on your tricks, rather than making sure the horse is being ridden at the right speed. It’s a bit like an equestrian remote control. Of course, all the horses used for these trick riding sessions are totally used to being vaulted and provide a steady and sturdy back for you to perform your tricks on.Routines in trick riding competitions can include things like mounts, dismounts, basic seat, flag, mill, scissor, stand and flank movements, some of which you might very well get to try on this amazing experience. As confidence grows, you should be able to progress to using the Cossack saddle. These are the trick saddles that allow you to hold positions including on the side and even underneath the horse. Originally used by Cossack soldiers and a way of hiding from their enemies, it is now a popular show riding skill that is particularly renowned at rodeos in the USA - and of course, often seen in horse riding stunt sequences in films!These equestrian trick riding moves are definitely not to be be tried at home, so book your place at this very specialised professional riding centre and be taught your vaults and your tricks on horseback by a pro rider.
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