Horses are used in vaulting, but they are also used for other disciplines. Horses can be used for jumping, dressage, eventing, and trick riding. They all require horses to perform, but vaulting is unique compared to them.
In jumping, horses and their riders jump over obstacles that can be up to seven feet tall, as stated in World Book Millennium 2000. Competitions on jumping are timed. This discipline is different from vaulting, as vaulting is not as fast-paced. It is not timed, and vaulting is judged on technique, form, difficulty of the routine, balance, security, and consideration.
Dressage has some differences with vaulting. One difference between vaulting and dressage is that in dressage, horses are controlled by its rider to perform movements and patterns at the walk, trot, and canter. These movements are also cued for with the slightest movement of the rider’s leg or seat. In vaulting, the horse remains at a slower, collected canter, with their legs under their body and their head arched at a specific angle.
The two disciplines, vaulting and dressage, are similar in some ways. In both disciplines, the horses must be controlled and collected. They both require gracefulness for the performances to look proper. Vaulting: Gymnastics on Horseback by Paki Stedwell shares with readers that retired dressage horses are common for German vaulting horses, because they carry their bodies properly and have built up enough of necessary muscles that are needed for vaulting.
Eventing is a mix of jumping and dressage, but there is also cross country added to the series of events, a timed event where horses and their riders go through a set obstacle course in an open area. There can be hills, rivers, jumps, and more natural landforms as obstacles. Eventing is a timed and graded competition, and it is extremely difficult and can be strenuous and dangerous without proper training. Eventing is far more fast-paced and strenuous than vaulting, which is not scored by time.
Trick riding is another equestrian discipline that is known less compared to other events. In the article, Trick Riding and Acrobatics by PBS, it says that trick riding is when people somersault from the ground to the top of the horse, and then back down, or hanging from the horse at a gallop. The horses in trick riding are not being longed like vaulting horses are, but trick horses are normally galloping around an enclosed pen. It is different from vaulting because vaulting is never done at the gallop, and it is meant to be more graceful and slower than trick riding.