Last week I asked the readers on Facebook, if someone could translate the article “Gimnastică pe… cal. Voltige-ul se practică în România din 2007” from the Romanian page digi24.ro. I am so curious about this “new” vaulting country. It looks like the translation was no problem for you, so here is what I have learnt without any guarantee on accuracy. If someone could arrange a contact I would be glad to interview a Romanian coach or vaulter.
Who said that gymnastics can only be exercised in a gym has never been to the farm in Atea Satu Mare County. It’s where children and adolescents are moving on horseback. Acrobatic exercises are executed with care and are part of what is called vaulting. Although it has a history going back hundreds of years, this sport is practised in Romania only since 2007. Vaulting comes from the Ancient Rome, where young soldiers were trained on a horse to practice their balance and be able to keep control. As a sport, it appeared between the two world wars.
¨Developing the sense of outstanding balance, we have to make sure to glide over the horse and land on 2 feet. In addition be able to get back on the horse immediately after falling off¨ says Noemi Boer, the initiator of the course in Romania. Nowadays the sport mainly involves participants who want to be prepared for horse back riding. This is mainly because the sport helps to better feel and prepare the rider for the saddle. The exercises that are being done are spectacular and surprising. Vaulting can be practised by any age, the youngest vaulter is 4 years old at the Santy Mare Country farm.
‘I practiced vaulting from age 8 and my favorite exercise is standing when the horse gallops, I feel free and I get a sense of being able to fly. Sometimes exercises are hard, but that really depends on what we are expected to do.’
The Romanian web page galopp.ro was started in 2007 by Noemi Boer, who registered the sport at the Romanian Equestrian Federation. She did this to help her daughter Blanka, who is national vaulting champion 4 times in a row now.
After five years Blanka Boer became a coach too. ”It’s always very interesting, and I always wanted to work with horses and kids, this is the perfect combination because I can do what I like most. It seems to me very interesting and I’m glad I can work with children and horses which I wanted for a long time.”
Today the Santu Mare Country farm counts 30 registered members, most of them are active participants in competitions and championships.