Home' Horse Deals Magazine : Horse Deals January 2015 Contents strong muscles that are reliable for the task
I ask of them. I have learnt to hold myself
better with improved posture and light
movement as I train on my horse. Physical
strength is enhanced by regular stretching.
As I train using strength and stretching
exercises I have become very fit. This fitness
has given me power and speed to perform
difficult moves on the horse that require fast
and perfectly timed movements.
How many horses do you have in work
at the moment? I have two horses in
training, Lanky and Noodle. Noodle is also a
Cleveland Bay and is 17.1hh.
When training a new horse, how long
does it take for you to know if the horse
is going to be suitable, as there appears
to be no room for error, even on training
runs? I think it is best to start training a
horse for vaulting once it is established as a
ridden horse. Both the horses I am currently
working with are balanced with dressage
and this certainly makes a difference when
lunging them. It takes time to introduce them
to the idea that they can continue to move on
the lunge, while the rider approaches them.
All horses are trained to stand still while you
get on. Once they get this concept you then
introduce them to vaulters, moving around
their bodies and using every space, from
the croup to the neck. If they accept this at
walk, you slowly introduce this at trot and
then canter, always praising and reassuring
the horses. The final step is being able to run
with the horse at canter and mount. This can
only be done if the horse completely trusts
and understands what is happening. It is very
rewarding to train a vaulting horse and the
sense of connection you feel to the horses
is very strong. They are truly, very special
horses that are respected and loved by
many vaulters. Some horses take longer than
others and some never accept vaulting.
You recently represented Australia at
WEG, tell us about this experience?
I was selected for Equestrian Vaulting,
as an Individual, for the World Equestrian
Games in Normandy France 2014. This was
an amazing achievement, as I was only 17
years old at the time of selection, and was
busy at school completing my final year 12.
I qualified for WEG at the Adelaide CVI 3*
2014 on my own horse, Iramoo Megabyte
(Lanky). I couldn’t take Lanky to the Games,
but instead competed with German lunger,
Claudia Westerheide and her wonderful
horse, Polan. I travelled in early August to
train with Claudia and Polan, before travelling
to Normandy. It was amazing to be in the
company of the very best European vaulters
in the world. The competition arena was
electric, like a rock concert, it was thrilling
to be a part of. I performed my personal
best in the first round of compulsories at
international level, which was awesome. I
was very nervous for my freestyle and I know
I could have performed better. I learnt a lot
about international competition and look
forward to improving.
You previously spent time training in
Germany and Austria, did their training
methods differ greatly from yours, what
did you take home from this? Training
methods are very similar to that of home,
just a lot more coaches, vaulters and horses
to work with. As vaulting is very strong in
Europe, I am always learning new training
techniques to bring home to our club
members. All the Europeans I have worked
with are very helpful and skilful to improve
my vaulting, of which I am very grateful.
Highlights of your career? Represented
Australia at the WEG 2014 as an Individual.
Being chosen as a Bonnetts Saddle World
Ambassador. National Male Vaulting
Champion 2014. National Pas de deux
Vaulting Champion with McKeira Cumming
2014. State Male Vaulting Champion 2014.
ESA Youth Scholarship Winner 2012, 2013.
Clinic mentor at National Vaulting Clinic
Who has been the most influential person
in your riding career? I think I was strongly
influenced by Devon Maitozo, when I first
trained with him. Seeing what a high level
vaulter can do on a horse was inspirational.
He pushed me past my comfort zone, both
artistically and physically, and gave me the
confidence to try the more difficult moves.
I have since worked with many of the elite
male vaulters in Europe.
What do you love about your sport?
Ok, I’m not gunna lie, standing on a horse
at canter is the best feeling and everyone
should try it! Training hard on a new move
and it finally working on the horse is just
the best. I love vaulting and because
of this I have developed a very positive
and passionate attitude to my journey to
represent Australia. Vaulting promotes
confidence, positive attitude and the passion
to perform so you can give both you and
your team the edge to overcome any odds.
It enhances your self-confidence and your
certainty of success among those with whom
you work, both as an athlete and also into
my personal life.
How do you manage the highs and the
lows of your sport? I can often become
frustrated when training goes badly, either
the horse or myself is not performing as I
want. I am mindful of the whole team, horse,
lunger and coach, so we can overcome these
issues and move forward. Part of growing
up is taking responsibility for my actions
and I understand that as a young athlete, I
will be tested by the influence of elevated
frustration, anger, disappointment, confusion,
depression and anxiety. I listen to my coach,
lunger and horse, adjust the focus of the
session and most importantly, end positively
for all concerned, with particular attention to
Where would you like to see yourself in
5 years? Would really love to win a medal
at Worlds in Individual, and in Pairs with
McKeira Cumming. We recently qualified for
3* in Pairs and I think we work great together.
It’s difficult to train as McKeira lives in
Queensland. She comes down to SA as often
as she can to train on Lanky.
When was the last time you fell
off? Hahaha, Christmas Competition
December 2014. Hmm, don’t know what
happened, but I went off and clambered on,
upset Lanky and that was it. It’s a full one
point deduction for a fall so we all try not to
Sponsors? Bonnetts Saddleworld as one of
Zac and Lanky at the recent Robertson CVI 2*
Food? Pasta. Colour? Blue.
Horse? Lanky, although all the horses I have
worked with are special. Some have passed
on and I miss them. We never sell our
horses, they are our responsibility for life.
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