Vaulting is gymnastics on horseback and combines the skills of both gymnastics and horsemanship. It provides for both individual and also for team participation in sport. Vaulting improves a rider's seat, balance, rhythm and coordination as well as their confidence on the horse. In many clubs in Europe a period of vaulting is a prerequisite to riding.
Vaulting is one of the most spectacular, and at the same time safest, of the equestrian sports. It is an ancient sport dating back to the Minoan period demonstrating flexibility and mobility whilst on horseback. This was particularly important when horses were widely used in conflicts (horses were active in war through to the end of WWII).
In competition (similar to skating and gymnastics) there are compulsory routines as well as freestyle and it is all performed to music, so musical interpretation is also important.