AIRVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Late on a Tuesday afternoon, fog rolls through the hills around Muddy Creek Meadows. It’s a grey kind of day, the farm’s border collies are napping outside of the riding stables. Inside, the Muddy Creek Vaulters are practicing a sport most have never heard of: Horse Vaulting.
“Equestrian Vaulting is basically gymnastics and dance on top of a moving horse”, according to Trisha Bowman, the team’s coach. And yes, you read that right. Gymnastics. Dance. Moving horse.
The team was formed six years ago, that’s when Chris Mills, a horseback rider at the stables decided to give it a try, “Everything we do to the normal eye is like ‘woah they’re doing that on the back of a horse’. It’s pretty fun.”
The sport is not as popular on the East Coast as it is in the Midwest and West Coast, despite being introduced in the U.S. in the 1950’s. The Muddy Creek Vaulters ages range from 7 to 25, which is useful for some of the team performances. As many as three people may be on top of the horse, working in unison to perform various acrobatic moves.
“The kids that really get the most out of it come in knowing very little about the sport. They learn to work together and with the horse to put together these routines.”