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Compulsory Exercises
Competitive vaulters are judged on a series of compulsory exercises as well as their freestyle routine. Both are performed to music to show how athletics and grace combine to create the sport of vaulting.

For individuals, the first round of both compulsories and freestyle are performed with the horse moving to the left (counterclockwise around the circle). At the Bronze and Silver levels, the second round of compulsories is performed to the right (clockwise around the circle), and the moves themselves are mirror-images of the compulsories to the left. The second round of freestyle, for the Bronze and Silver levels, is performed again to the left. At the Gold level, the second round consists of a Technical Test and a freestyle, both of which are performed to the left.

Team compulsories and freestyle are performed to the left. Two-phase compulsories are performed to the right and are mirror-images of the compulsories to the left.

Individual competition may also be held at the trot. Trot compulsories are performed and scored the same as the following descriptions for canter; however, any reference to "canter strides" should be changed to "trot strides."

There are seven compulsory exercises.

Vault-on (mount)
Basic Seat
Flag
Mill
Scissors
Stand
Flank (dismount)

During individual competition, the compulsories are performed in sequence with no dismount in between. During team competition, each team member performs the first four compulsories (Mount, Basic Seat, Flag, Mill), followed by a dismount in the same four-count rhythm as the Mill. After all team members have completed the first four compulsories, the sequence is repeated with each member performing the last three compulsories (Scissors, Stand, Flank).

It is possible to separate the compulsories into static and dynamic exercises (although no position held on a cantering horse can truly be said to be "static"): Basic Seat, Flag and Stand are "static exercises" which are held for four canter strides, while the four other compulsories are much more dynamic.

In all of the compulsories, as in all of vaulting, moving in harmony with and consideration for the horse is essential.

* The Technical Test consists of five exercises from different categories of motor skills. The exercises are designated by the FEI Vaulting Committee each year prior to the World Championships (every odd-numbered year), and are to be used for the two-year period following that World Championship. These five exercises are announced in the FEI Bulletin and on the FEI Website. (For more information, please consult the FEI Guidelines for Judges, 4th Edition 2005.) The official reference for both written description and depiction of the seven compulsory exercises is the FEI Rules for Vaulting Events (6th Edition - 2005).

References:
Correct Vaulting, Ulrike Rieder
Equestrian Vaulting, Jutta Wiemers
Guidelines for Judges (4th ed. - 2005), Federation Equestre Internationale
Rules for Vaulting (6th ed. - 2005), Federation Equestre Internationale

Credits:
3-dimensional scenes created using Poser 3 by Eric Jewett;
Vaulting surcingle and pad by Eric Jewett;
Bridle by Meredith;
Hair by Robert Bullock;
Grey texture map by Mazarian;
Appaloosa texture map by Heather Dunnigan, used in loving memory of Mr. Tubbs.

Graphics and text Copyright 1999, American Vaulting Association and Eric Jewett. All rights reserved.