Our Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What riding or gymnastics experience is needed to join?
A: Vaulters do not need any horse experience to begin the class.
Q: Our son is four years old. Is that too young?
A: Four years is a great time to begin vaulting! Vaulting will provide an excellent introduction to horses and equestrian skills for your child.
Q: What type of horses do you use?
A: All sorts of horses make great vaulting horses. We choose our horses primarily for their temperament. We identify calm horses who are comfortable around children and do not react to distractions around the arena. We own horses of all sizes, and do our best to match the size of the horse to the level (and size) of the vaulters on the horses.
Q: How do you train your horses?
A: Our horses are trained on the longe line and under saddle in the arena. Typically, horses receive 6 months to a year of training in vaulting before they are put in classes. All of our horses are ridden four days a week and trained in dressage. Our longeurs have received training from some of the best vaulting longeurs in the world.
Q: So I am now on the fence about my daughter taking the class. I realize I'm being wimpy, but I'm nervous that the riders don't wear helmets. The possibility of my child accidentally falling off a horse without a helmet just totally freaks me out.
A: Woodside Vaulters conducts all activities with safety in mind, and our record reflects this. As in any sport, there are risks associated with vaulting, and we encourage you to visit our Is Vaulting Safe? page.
Q: Does the club encourage long-term competitive vaulters?
A: Woodside Vaulters is pleased to offer the opportunity to allow children to vault through our recreational Introductory Program. If your child becomes passionate about vaulting and you are interested in the additional commitment of competing, we are also pleased that to offer the opportunity to continue onto our competitive Development and then High Performance Team Programs. If we feel your child is ready for our competitive programs, we will contact you. However, like all sports, we respect that the decision to commit both the additional time and finances to progress to a competitive level is a personal family decision.
Q: We don't do sports or compete on Sundays. Will that prove problematic?
A: Woodside Vaulters offers Introductory classes most days of the week. If you join and transition into the competitive Development Team Program, there will be one to three competitions during the year that may have events scheduled on Sundays.
Q: I read the costs for the Introductory Program. Do costs increase for higher-level classes?
A: The monthly dues for our Introductory Program are used for operational expenses, including feeding our horses. Introductory vaulters may incur additional costs for optional items such as t-shirts and shorts or other Woodside Vaulter clothing.
Like all sports, as you move into competitive programs and increase in skill level, expenses increase. Within the Development and Competitive Programs, Woodside Vaulters supports a variety of participation and experience levels, from team-only vaulters who compete locally, to elite-level individual vaulters who compete at local, national and international events. Expenses vary depending on the number and level of events a vaulter chooses to enter each season. Woodside Vaulters works with each family to determine an individual event plan that suits the interest and skill level of the vaulter, as well as the financial capacity of the family. We map out the costs by event for each family before the competitive season begins, and the family can choose to add or increase participation. Details on various expenses are available on the Members website.
For expenses beyond standard operating expenses, such as capital improvements and purchases, we raise funds separately. As needs arise, we hope you will consider contributing, to support the ongoing safe and successful operation of the club.