Equestrian Vaulting gets its start in West Texas

Equestrian Vaulting gets its start in West Texas

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Imagine doing a handstand on the back of a horse while it's moving. Equestrian vaulting is a unique and exciting sport that will put you on the edge of your seat while watching. It is a mix between gymnastics and dance on a moving horse. There are clubs in Fort Worth and Austin, but one Basin family brought their passion for vaulting here.

"In Equestrian Vaulting, everyone is very friendly. It's very team oriented even between teams. While it's a competitive sport, there's also so much teamwork between the different clubs. Everybody is friendly and helpful and the kids like the sport. It's really good for the kids confidence, self-esteem and for building friends," said Kim Masitti.

While there are various levels for individual vaulting, there is also team vaulting.

"You can also have pas de deux, which literally translates to step of two or dance of two. That would be a pairs routine so you get 2 people up on the horse and they do their thing. Lower levels have to do compulsories and freestyle. Upper levels just have 2 rounds of free style and then we have team. Team is comprised of 6 individuals and you can have up to 3 people on a horse at a time. It's judged on how well those 6 people incorporate themselves into the routine. It's a 4-minute routine and you might have one person or two people on and then one gets off and another gets on. So it's this continuous fluid dance on top of this moving horse and they like for it to tell a story," said Kimberly Wellman.

While to us being in the air on a moving horse may sound scary, 10-year-old Nicolette Masitti has a different opinion.

"Basically you're only afraid of being afraid when you're doing it, but you sort of have to act like it's on the ground and stuff. Don't give it just 100 percent, give it 110 percent. If you really try your best then you'll be able to get on if you really push through and then you get up, it's like wait a second, breathe and then you just keep going. It's really fun," said Masitti.

The Masitti family welcomes both boys and girls who want to learn this unique sport and join their club, the Tall City Vaulters. For more information visit their Facebook page @TallCityVaulters or call (303) 521-2088.

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