A Gift Horse Indeed: Equestrian Vaulting Opens Doors For Children With Disabilities A Gift Horse Indeed: Equestrian Vaulting Opens Doors …

SAN TAN VALLEY — The first time Jarred Sallus tried equestrian vaulting, he was together with his girlfriend, Kadriya Musina, in her native Russia. Within eight hours of his arrival, he was the wrong way up on a horse.

Sallus returned to the stables the following day, able to study extra in regards to the sport. His pleasure led to the couple in 2019 co-founding Salt River Vaulters, a non-profit group that makes it doable for youngsters or adults with disabilities to take part in equine remedy and therapeutic vaulting.

Find out what’s taking place in Phoenixwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Sallus, whose adolescence struggles with behavioral points noticed him despatched to boarding college in Sedona, quickly discovered that horses have been an avenue that might lead towards a peaceable, extra tranquil life. Following boarding college, Sallus moved again to California, beginning his journey with Luna, a horse that’s now used at Salt River Vaulters.

“I’ve seen how it helps me and I can see sometimes how it helps students that we have. I can see that they just have an instant change,” Sallus mentioned. “They get up on a horse and they’re having full blown conversations with the horse. They’re happy. It’s just amazing to see an instant change in students.”

Find out what’s taking place in Phoenixwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Equestrian vaulting is “essentially gymnastics on horseback,” Sallus mentioned, and competitors consists of compulsories and freestyle choices. Salt River Vaulters begin their learners with obligatory workout routines together with vault-on, flag, stand and flank, strikes that may assist the athletes’ bodily and psychological development. Pas de Deux options two individuals on a horse, and in addition consists of facets of gymnastics within the routine.

Athletes can take part in competitors as a person or with a staff, and are scored on their flexibility and stability, in addition to protecting all areas of the horse. The horse is judged on its gait and high quality, and every athlete should face on all 4 sides of the horse.

The United States held its first equestrian vaulting competitors in 1969, based on US Equestrian, though the game didn’t attain Arizona till Salt River Vaulters. When the couple returned from Russia, Sallus mentioned he felt a void, realizing “there’s nothing here.”

After looking for a cushty and protected space for the vaulters, Musina and Sallus, now married, discovered operating their non-profit group from their yard in San Tan Valley was finest, which additionally allowed them to broaden the quantity of courses.

“I love helping the kids with disabilities. I think it’s probably my favorite thing,” Sallus mentioned. “They just have a joy with them that they bring to lessons, and just their smile.”

It’s not about making money, and it is greater than a business, Musina-Sallus mentioned. “It’s about changing the lives of kids and adults and people in general because horses are changing lives,” she mentioned.

“I like to share our horses, I like to share our place with people who really need it. Because a lot of people, they can’t find their place in life and they are really struggling. But I want them to know that they are always welcome here.”

Allyson Ward, 16, has sensory processing dysfunction and autism, which makes attending college, dressing herself and discovering the motivation to get by means of the day troublesome. But two months in the past, Ward’s life gained function when she found Salt River Vaulters.

“For me and for Allyson, it’s been life-changing because from the moment she stepped foot on the property and was able to connect with the horses, we’ve been able to go to school and we’ve been able to get dressed and we’ve been able to function at a typical level,” Allyson’s mom, Amy, mentioned.

Building a strong reference to horses has enabled Allyson to emerge from her shell.

She has additionally developed a powerful reference to Musina-Sallus and the horses.

“Me and my coach have become really close,” she mentioned. “And then I’m really close with the horse Jewel. She’s my favorite.”

Allowing individuals develop bodily and mentally, Musina-Sallus mentioned, it additionally helps their communication abilities.

“Vaulting is a team sport. You have a horse, you have a ledger, you have teammates. You have to communicate, you have to understand each other, you have to trust each other,” Musina-Sallus mentioned.

“The main reason is to help people in general with disabilities and able-bodies to have experience, to know what a horse vaulting and therapy and communication is with the horse,” Musina-Sallus mentioned. “In general, how horse can affect your life and help you because it’s a whole another energy that comes from the horse. And it kind of changes you.”

For extra tales from Cronkite News, go to

Back to top button