Equestrian Vaulting is most often described as gymnastics and dance on horseback, it is an individual but also a team sport. Quite spectacular, 3 vaulters can be on the horse at the same time. And the horse is kept cantering on a circle by the lunger.
Some trace the origins of vaulting to Roman games, including acrobatic displays on cantering horses. Others see roots in the bull dancers of ancient Crete. In either case, people have been performing acrobatic and dance-like movements on the backs of moving horses for more than 2,000 years. Vaulting was later used to help cavalry troops increase their abilities on the horse, and the troops would begin by working on a wooden horse before advancing to a live, moving mount. Modern vaulting was developed in post-war Germany as part of set of exercises for improving general riding. In 1960, it develops itself in other European countries but also in the United States. In 1983, vaulting became one of the disciplines recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), and the first FEI World Vaulting Championships were held in 1986.
For a beginner rider it is important that he feels at ease with his horse, therefore vaulting is a very good sport to begin with before learning how to ride. At a higher level, you can practice vaulting in competitions, and rules exist.
Vaulting horses are not saddled, but they do wear a surcingle and a thick back pad. The surcingle has special handles which help the vaulter in performing compulsory or freestyle moves. For the compulsory exercise, we will see the vault-on and the flag… And for the freestyle part, you are the one to compose it, here we will see how to do a side Y and a outside shoulder hang.
You will find more information on the American Vaulting Association website for vaulting in the United States.