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Vaulting World Academy

A little chat with…Christoph Lensing

We were lucky meet Christoph Lensing, a living vaulting legend, who has been World Champion three times, European Champion three times and German Champion four times, at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon. Watch our video interview with him (in German with English subtitles!)

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Join the Vaulting Camp at Voltigeklubben Thommysminde

You are looking for great holiday, but don’t want to miss out training? Then the summer vaulting camp at Voltigeklubben Thommysminde in Jutland, Denmark, might be a perfect option!

The camp runs from the 29th of June to the 3rd of July.

General information

The very first summer vaulting camp started back in 2013, where it was mostly Danish participants. The camp was founded and created by the club’s trainers and of course owner and head coach Lasse Kristensen.

Now the biggest group, from one country, is still Denmark. For Danes, it is very close and of course, a lot of national teams are participating themselves. To look at a wider perspective, then the number of Danish participants is maybe 30 %. The rest is from other countries. There is always a great number of Aussies, Americans, and Finnish vaulters. Also, vaulters from Norway, Sweden, and The Netherlands have participated in the camp.

The camp is for everyone who wishes to have a great time, with lots of vaulting and the rare opportunity to get coached by the best of the best!

Who are the coaches?

So far, the coaches of this year’s camp will be Lukas Heppler from Switzerland, Stefan Csandl from Austria, Daniel Kaiser from Germany and Rikke Laumann from Denmark. They are working on getting more coaches, but they can’t reveal who it is yet!

Who can participate?

There are no limitations regarding the vaulters’ level – everyone participating will be there to develop and have fun, and of course, the activities are adapted to every vaulter.

Trainers and lungers are invited, too! Everyone participating has the possibility to bring their own horse. There is also the possibility to rent a horse and lunger, for vaulters who are not able to bring their own.

For the trainers and lungers, there will be extra training modules where they, for example, will learn about the physics of a horse, vaulting from a judge’s perspective, fall technics and much more!

Will you do other leisure activities?

Apart from training sessions there are also a lot of additional fun activities. Just to mention a few, there will be parkour and physical training in the program.

During the day the idea is to ensure that no one is bored, so there will be small activities during the day, which will be voluntary.

Where do you stay?

The participants bring a tent or a camper to stay in, which creates a nice environment and a great feeling about it being a real camp.
There are also indoor rooms for participants with certain needs of that or if people are not able to bring tents or a camper.  

Staying in a tent is free, bringing a camper has a small cost.

What does it cost?

For participating in the camp, then the price changes from the number of vaulters you bring “in your team” – Of course, it’s not just teams participating – the camp is open for everyone, but it will be more expensive to only be two on a horse, than 6. For 6 vaulters it will be 1550 DKK (about 210 euros), before the 1st of May.

Included are:

3 meals every day and small snacks during the day.

1h of barrel training

1h of horse training

1h of another kind of activity

Gala-dinner the last night, with a big show!

It is possible to pay for more hours.

A typical day at the camp

A typical day would be a morning run (everyone runs a small tour together), then breakfast. Before lunch it would be very likely you had your barrel practice of that day, then lunch. After lunch, your schedule could say that you needed to do parkour or horse training. Then it’s dinner time and in the evening, there will always be a camp fire (except if the weather doesn’t allow it), or you could watch a movie together with other vaulters. Sometimes there is a night-run as well, but this year’s exact program cannot be revealed yet, so stay tuned!

If you would like to join the Vaulting Camp at Voltigeklubben Thommysminde, you can contact them here.

National Levels: A comparison of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Spain

On an international level it’s not that difficult to compare the skills of vaulters since the FEI sets the rules. However, every country has still its own set of regulations when it comes to national championships. If you wonder what is your level in another country, you can find the answer right here: we have made a summary of the compulsories of the competition levels of 5 different countries for you: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Spain.

As you can see in the tables below there are quite some differences in the requirements on each level. This is also due to the fact that Spain for example is still a developing country in terms of vaulting. There aren’t enough vaulters to compete in canter or on a higher level, so even at the Spanish Championship there are tests, which are performed in walk. However, bit by bit they are adjusting the levels and their requirements to other countries, where vaulting is a more developed discipline.

But see yourself:

> Individuals

Germany Austria Switzerland France Spain
LK1 (S)

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank

S

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

S

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank

AMATEUR ELITE

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

Nivel 3

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank

LK2 (M)

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank

M

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the outside

x AMATEUR 1

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the inside

Nivel 2

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the inside

LK3 (L)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

L

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

L (only juniors)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the outside

AMATEUR 2

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

Nivel 1

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

x A

Mount (doesn’t count)

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

B (only juniors)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the outside

CLUB ELITE

Mount (help authorized)

Basic Seat

Flag (2 strides)

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

Promoción 3

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Plank

Side Seat

Kneeling

Swing Off to the inside

CLUB 1

Mount (with help)

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Stand (no arms)

Half Mill

Plank Backwards

Half Mill to the outside

Shoulderstand on the neck

Dismount to the inside

> Squads

Germany Austria Switzerland France Spain
LK1 (S**)

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

S

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

S

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

AMATEUR ELITE

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

Nivel 3

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank

LK2 (S*)

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

x x x Nivel 2

Mount

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the inside

LK3 (M**)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

M

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the outside

M

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the outside

AMATEUR 1

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the inside

Nivel 1

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

LK4 (M*)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Flank First Part

Swing Off to the outside

x x x Promoción 3

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Plank

Side Seat

Kneeling

Swing Off to the inside

LK5 (L)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the outside

L

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

L

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Stand

Scissors Forwards

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the outside

AMATEUR 2

Mount (help authorized)

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

Promoción 2

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Plank

Side Seat

Kneeling

Swing

Dismount to the inside

LK6 (A)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Plank

Side Seat

Kneeling

Swing Forwards

Dismount to the inside

A

Mount (doesn’t count)

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

B

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Kneeling

Plank

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

x Promoción 1 (Walk)

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Side Seat

Kneeling

Dismount to the inside

> Pas-de-deux

Germany Austria Switzerland France Spain
S

No Compulsories

S

No Compulsories

S

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Mill

Scissors

Stand

Swing Off to the outside

AMATEUR

No Compulsories

Nivel 3

No Compulsories

x x x x Nivel 2

No Compulsories

x x x x Nivel 1

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag

Stand

Swing Forwards

Half Mill

Swing Backwards

Dismount to the inside

x x x x Promoción 3

Mount

Basic Seat

Flag (only leg)

Plank

Side Seat

Kneeling

Swing Off to the inside

Photos: FN/Nicolai Schober

What levels do you have in your country? We would love to extend our table, so please don’t hesitate to contact us!

How to fight the cold: 5 Tips for Winter Training

Winter time might be the most intense training time for vaulters: Improving compulsories, trying out new freestyle moves, finding a new freestyle theme and working on all details of the choreography to present it on time when competition season starts. And all that with usually hard weather conditions!

Cold, wind and rain make it difficult and sometimes unpleasant to train outside. But even if you can train indoors, it can be very cold. So make sure to follow our 5 tips to fight the cold and survive winter training!

  1. Increase warm-up time and intensity: Since your internal body temperature is lower, your muscles will need more time and more intensity to warm-up properly and to avoid injuries. Do a more dynamic warm-up to activate your blood flow and muscles and keep moving during the whole training session. During cold seasons, static stretching should be done after your horse training since it won’t help you to get and stay warm.
  2. Choose your clothes right: Choosing your clothes for winter training might be a difficult task. When you go leave home your winter jacket is too cold and you might become hypothermic, when you start training it is too hot and you might overheat. As a rule of thumb you can say that you should dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer to be more or less comfortable before, during and after training. Definitively dress in layers and don’t forget your gloves and headband, at least for the time you are not on the horse. Check out our latest Vault & Shop article to get some inspiration for your training outfit.
  3. Use hand warmers: What first gets cold are usually your hands and feet. One solution are adhesive hand and foot warmers. Reusable hand warmers are another great option for warming them up when resting or waiting for your turn. A simple chemical reaction heats them up when clicking the metal disk in the liquid. They can be easily carried in every training bag or pocket and they give at least first aid when it’s freezing cold.
  4. Fill up your glycogen stores (carbs) before exercising: During training in cold muscles will require more energy at a faster rate to stay warm, so they will fatigue faster. The more your muscles work the faster you glycogen stores diminish. Make sure to fill up your carbohydrate stores before training and eat some carbs, such as potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and so on.
  5. Watch your breathing: The colder the air, the greater the stimulus to the lungs and bronchi. If you can feel some kind of a burning or irritation when inhaling fresh air it is definitively too cold to train outside. Ensure that you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. That way the air needs more time to get to your lungs and consequently there is more time to moisten it and warm it up through the nasal mucosa.

Although it might cost you more effort to train in winter, there are even some benefits of training in cold weather conditions. Your cardiovascular system has to work harder circulating blood through the entire body, which will strengthen your heart and your whole immune system. Due to the fact that your body has to work harder, you will also burn more calories, so you will definitely fight off your winter gains by just keeping up your training. That’s another reason why people use to say that summer bodies are made in winter!

But remember, if it’s too cold, don’t train or be flexible and change your horse session into a gym session. Everybody has a different temperature sensitivity, listen to your body!

Do you have any other tips to fight against the cold? Share them with the Vaulting World in our Facebook group!

5 tips to take the perfect vaulting picture

Vaulting is a beautiful sport and we need to show it to the world! One of the best ways to get to be known is to share our photos.

VW asked some of the best vaulting photographers for their secrets, between others Arjen van der Spek, Anthony Bro-Petit, Julia Schwartz & Nathalie Gautier.

Some of these photographers fell in love with the sport because they practice or practiced it themselves or just because friends or family members are involved. They definitely work with the same passion for our discipline and they shared with us their best tips:

1. The Light

According to Julia Schwartz ”All you need is light. That’s the most important thing.”  Backlight for example makes it hard to take a good picture. Whether you have a good light or not results basically from the arena and where you position yourself in the arena.

2. The Spot

When choosing your spot, make sure that the vaulters are going to stand out from the background: It is important to have a simple background, if possible without too many colors – we all know that this can be very difficult if there are stands of spectators.

The spot also determines the light you will have. Make sure that there’s no window directly on the opposite side. Otherwise you will take all your photos against the light.

Last but not least, be creative and different such as Anthony: “You have to find the spot where nobody is, usually during a competition, I’m in the backstage, I love this point of view!”

3. The Skills and Intuition

We were curious to know what makes a perfect shot: Skills only? Isn’t it a combination of coincidence and of luck, too?

Anthony Bro-Petit believes that it’s 50-50 between skills and coincidence. Arjen for example declares: “It’s mainly about skills.” While Nathalie insists on the importance of what you feel: “I don’t think we can talk about a coincidence, nor about skills. In my case it is just about feeling and intuition, I try to highlight things such as beauty or emotion. I love to highlight the small details in my pictures”.

Nathalie’s best advice: “Follow your intuitions, your feelings and emotions!”

Julia also confirms that your intuition is essential for capturing moments beside the circle. Your eyes as a vaulting photographer have to be everywhere since there usually is so much action in the arena!

4. The Equipment

A good lens is essential. Arjen van der Spek highlights it himself: “Buy a good lens, it has to be a lens for indoor photography. At least a f 2.8 or you’ll regret it.

Julia Schwartz
Julia Schwartz uses a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon D750, with a Nikkor 70-200 mm lens with a maximum aperture of f 2.8. She says: “Parameter and settings are very depending on the light of the vaulting hall, if possible use the lowest ISO.”
Nathalie Gautier
Nathalie Gautier uses a Canon 500D with a 150 mm lens.
Anthony Bro-Petit
Anthony Bro-Petit bought a Sony Alpha 7RII and uses lenses with a fixed focal length of 35 mm, 50 mm, 85 mm and 24-240 mm.
Arjen van der Spek
Arjen has a Canon 7D Mark II. He uses a 70-200 mm f 2.8 lens. He recommends a shutter speed of 1/250 sec, manual mode if possible. He adds: “ISO settings depend on the light conditions.”

Remember you can also rent your equipment for a special occasions as Anthony: “If I need specific lenses for a project, I rent material such as a red camera, a Canon C100, etc.”

But most important, he also warns that “you have to know all the settings of your camera”.

5. The Preparation

Do the photographers prepare themselves before a competition by watching the freestyles for example?

Some do, some don’t, but all of them agree that it would be ideal!

Julia:  “Sometimes at the beginning of the season, I do it.”

Nathalie: “I don’t prepare, but it’s true that it’s easier to take nice shots when you already know the freestyle in question.”

You should have an eye for the exercises the vaulters are performing, of course. Therefore it is a good idea to prepare before going to a competition. Check the starting lists and search for videos of the competitors. So you can watch their freestyles before the competition and know more or less which exercise might come next. This helps you to have the perfect timing when releasing the shutter.

Our experts revealed all the keys to succeed for you, so what are you waiting for? Follow Anthony’s most important advice:

“Take a camera and GO!”

3 Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You – Yoga

Yoga is defined as an art, harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit. By practicing different yoga techniques you can improve your flexibility, balance, strength, especially core strength and your inner peace and focus: actually all the skills you need to be a good vaulter, too! So, why don’t you try out some yoga exercises once in awhile to vary your training routine? Read More

DIY Hack: Make your own telescope whip (≈ 5 – 35 €)

If you don’t live in a German speaking country or in a country where equestrian vaulting has already become a more or less developed discipline, it might be difficult to get adequate vaulting material. Vaulting whips for example are quite expensive and difficult to transport. In the following we will show you how we made our own telescope whip with little money.Read More

Vaulting Wiki

You are going to an international training camp, the Vaulting World Championships or the Vaulting European Championships and are still lacking some vaulting vocabulary? We have the solution for you: our Vaulting Wiki! We have prepared the translations of the most important vaulting terms in English, German, French and Spanish.Read More

Mindset & Performance: Mental training for vaulters

As we all know, mental strength and concentration are crucial during competitions. Very few vaulters train mentally, but it is a very important point to perform: You have only a few seconds to convince the judges, so better be focused! But how can you improve your concentration? How to deal with enormous pressure? Read More