Last week we have talked about how a vaulting related business can work. Today we will focus on the horses. Maurits of KCM Vaultinghorses has some really helpful tips for all the vaulters & lungers.
First of all, Maurits, do you see a change of the vaulting horses during the last years?
As horse scores are getting more important, the quality of the vaulting horses is improving fast. Being a good vaulter is not good enough anymore, the horse score is making the difference if a vaulter makes it to the stage or not. Also competitions like the World Cups, and the CVI in Doha are making our sport more professional. We are in the middle of the other equestrian disciplines, that are already very professional, and there is some money to be made as well. During these competitions vaulting is getting more serious publicity in the media. Which is good for the reputation of the sport.
Do you think people understand the decisions of the judges regarding their horses?
As long as there are judges, there will be people who disagree with their decisions. With vaulting it is no exception. We have to deal with it as it is part of our sport.
Now to your work. What is the biggest difficulty during the training process?
The difficult part is the selection of the proper horse, building the right team around the horse, Lunger, rider & vaulter have to be aware of the capabilities of the horse. The preparation of the horse depends on the horse itself. We think of our horses as individuals. Fairytale (URC Wildegg) went to a competition after 6 days and ended up at first place. Bram (Gilching) won his first CVI with the best horse score after only a month. The next year he won both the World Cup and the World Equestrian Games. These are exceptions as most horses take longer to be successful.
So, how old should a vaulting horse be to start with the sport?
In vaulting most people like big horses, problem with big horses is they need time to get strong. If a 7 year old is expected to carry a 3 person free style it will probably take up to 2 or 3 years before it is capable. My advice is to take a 9 or 10 year old, it will do the job better, faster and it saves stable costs. For the life expectancies, you never know if the horse will reach 18 or 20.
It is experience and grown up. Same as with humans. 5 year old horses are still young and not as strong as they will be when they are ten. The same goes for the mental aspect.
My advice is to take a 9 or 10 year old, it will do the job better, faster and it saves stable costs. For the life expectancies, you never know if the horse will reach 18 or 20.
What are the most important things vaulting horses need?
The horse needs to be in good health, strong enough to carry itself, a clear three beat canter and a good character.
What reins do you use for training?
We use various reins as some horses react better on some types than others. Also it is good to have variety in training methods
The first official appearance at a competition is always the vet check. Do you have any advice for that?
We practice trotting up at home, if the horse is sound, you do not need any further preparation. Practicing makes sure the horse is presented in the best way you can. Being in the holding box can happen, it is not fun and all you can do is cross your fingers or withdraw if you know the horse is not sound.
When I scroll trough your Facebook profile it looks like you trained most of the horses for the championships this year. How many are still your own?
Fortunately we have sold them all! But we are still proud of all of them. We are also lucky to compete with one of them, the horse Zygo, Cindy’s former private competition horse, which has been sold to the Palmer family and is representing the United States.
Do you stay in contact with the new owners?
We try to stay in contact with all of the new owners, it is important for us to know how the horses are doing after they have left our stable. Most of them let us know whenever their horse has a competition. For us the story does not end with the sale of a horse, it is just getting started. We try hard to sell top level horses and we hope all of the new owners are proud of owning a KCM Vaultinghorse!