This is an entry for vaulters’ training, not training vaulting horses.
Before people begin vaulting on the horse, they must train first. Vaulters are encouraged to dance, do gymnastics, yoga, and/or Pilates along with vaulting. Dancing helps with core strength, which is necessary for pulling yourself up onto the horse and for performing specific movements on the horse. Gymnastics is also a helpful way to train before vaulting, because it encourages flexibility, agility, and coordination that is needed for vaulting. Yoga and Pilates help by stretching muscles and making vaulters more flexible.
Barrels are used every time before a vaulter gets on the actual horse. As the AVA states, a barrel is a “multi-purpose apparatus for all levels of vaulting and riding instruction and should be an integral part of every vaulting program”. It is used to replicate a horse so vaulters can practice their routines or exercises before getting on the horse, and is often the first ‘horse’ vaulters practice on. There are often mirrors next to the barrels so riders can see what they need to improve on. As stated in Vaulting: the art of Gymnastics on the Horse by Elizabeth Friedlaender, beginner vaulters learn six compulsory exercises before learning advanced maneuvers. They learn the vault on to riding seat, kneel and flag, mill, flank, stand, and scissors.
Safety is important in training, too. Vaulters are instructed by their coaches the proper way to get off the horse, whether it was intentional or not. They also learn the American Vaulting Association’s (AVA) ten commandments.