Vaulting Clinic
Spreading  the word about a fabulous competitive and recreational sport 

vaulting = gymnastics on horseback – an amazing equation!

After meeting Rick and Virginia Hawthorne from  Valley View Vaulters in California, the largest vaulting club in America with an integrated team of handicapped /  non-handicapped vaulters, Root Farm began to incorporate vaulting movements into its therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, and new adaptive vaulting programs. 

For the eigth year in a row, the Hawthornes are coming out from the West Coast to share their expertise with our Central New York community and beyond. Over the last seven years, the Farm  has brought in outside speakers to enhance the impact of the Hawthorne’s adaptive vaulting message; 2011 will present a more focussed approach to the main idea: vaulting. Over the years, we have learned that there is no more compelling presentation than actual experience on horse (and barrel) back, and we are going to "cut to the chase."  

The clinic  offers something of importance to all of its attendees, whether vaulting enthusiasts, kids or parents of kids with special needs, riders wishing for an improved seat, therapists looking for a new aproach, and folks just looking for inspiration. Friday will be most appreciated by therapists and members of the medical community wishing to expand their knowledge and for parents, care takers, and case workers of individuals with disabilities. Saturday is geared more toward vaulters (competitive and recreational), who wish to benefit from Rick's coaching skills as well as observers wishing to start their own vaulting programs and understand the sport from a recreational / therapeuticstandpoint. Saturday's clinic combines with Root Farm's annual "Fun at the Farm" fundraiser, and there will be loots for families to do outside of the vaulting arena.

The Clinicians
 
Rick and Virginia Hawthorne
Rick and Virginia are nationally renowned therapeutic vaulting experts with over 30 years of expertise.  They founded the Valley View Vaulters in Lake View Terrace, CA, the largest vaulting club in America, in 1980. One third of their vaulters have "special needs,"  Rick and Virginia put on clinics throughout the country, sharing their knowledge of vaulting with all ages and abilities.

Over the years, Valley View Vaulters has received numerous awards for excellence and has been featured on television and in the press.  There have been many articles written about the team in magazines, newspapers and short stories such as "People helping people" in the Chicken Soup Series and chapters in balance and lunging books for riders, such as Lunging for the Perfect Seat.  In 2002, Rick received the AVA's highest honor of the "Mentor of the Year" Award, and he and Virginia received the "Honorary Silver Horseshoe" Award from AHOA for community service and dedication to the sport of vaulting.
 
 
Pete Senn has trained with the Hawthornes in California and is the beloved coach of Root Farm's own integrated vaulting team. He and his wife, Kim Senn, supervise individual adaptive vaulting lessons for children with special needs throughout the year. Pete applies his extensive engineering skills not only to his job as farm manager, but to the vital task of building strong, balanced bodies through vaulting.
* Adaptive vaulting becomes hippotherapy only when a licensed physical, occupational, or speech therapist incorporates compulsory vaulting movements into her/his hippotherapy sessions for patients with disabilities.
Vaulting Clinic Overview: May 6-8, 2011

The clinic offers something of importance to all of its attendees, whether vaulting enthusiasts, kids or parents of kids with special needs, riders wishing for an improved seat, therapists looking for a new approach, or folks just looking for inspiration.

Rick Hawthorne's techniques on Friday, May 6, will be most appreciated by therapists and members of the medical community wishing to expand their knowledge, and for parents, care takers, and caseworkers of individuals with disabilities. Rick will be working with handicapped and non-handicapped participants of Root Farm’s adaptive vaulting programs as well as members of Root Farm Vaulters. This day he will also schedule private sessions for riders wishing to work on centered balance.

Private lessons with Rick, for riders or vaulters, may be scheduled by calling the farm at 315-363-6124.

Saturday, May 7, is geared  toward vaulters, competitive and recreational, who wish to benefit from Rick's coaching skills, as well as observers wishing to start their own vaulting programs and understand the sport from a recreational / therapeutic standpoint. This part of the clinic will be held in conjunction with Root Farm’s annual “Fun at the Farm” fundraiser, with ongoing activities throughout the day for children and adults: games, music, food, pony rides, petting park, and more.

Sunday, May 8th, a barrel competition will be held with divisions for special needs children and adults, special pairs, and all skill levels. If last year’s competition is any indication, some of the folks that first heard about vaulting the day before will be competing! We will have a great time. This year, our judge will be silver Medalist Lindy Deal, and Rick will be on hand to coach the competitors in technique and presentation. It is a unique opportunity to compete and learn from advice before and instant feedback afterwards! 
The Root Farm, a center for equine-assisted therapy that hosts multiple programs for the handicapped, including Adaptive Vaulting, Youth Power, Adult Day Rehab, Hippotherapy, and Carriage Driving --  intends through this vaulting clinic and Root Farm Vaulters’ ongoing efforts to provide vaulting demonstrations to community groups and equestrian programs, that vaulting will become  familiar to this part of the country and recognized as the fabulous recreational/therapeutic/competitive equestrian sport it is..

We have an additional agenda this year to encourage not only membership in the AVA (American Vaulting Association) but, particularly, in AV (Adaptive Vaulting), the therapeutic branch of the AVA. Vaulting has so much to offer – everywhere, to everyone!