Keiki Perform Gymnastics On Horseback - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Keiki Perform Gymnastics On Horseback

Maia Seguin Maia Seguin
Kalei Rice Kalei Rice
Tehya Almeida Tehya Almeida
Koa Yokota Koa Yokota
Aurora Yokota Aurora Yokota

By Beth Hillyer

WAIMANALO (KHNL) -- It's a sport rarely seen in Hawaii that dates back to ancient Roman games. It's called vaulting and some Waimanalo keiki demonstrate just how difficult it is to perform gymnastics on horseback.

At Malu Olu ranch in Waimanalo, vaulting team members demonstrate daring acrobatics on horseback.

"Well, you have to be balanced and in order to do that, you have to look forward and not worry about anything else but your balance," said Maia Seguin.

All under the watchful eye of coach Joan Ogata. The team is called Fly with Delight.

"It is building confidence learning balance on the horse."

Getting on is the hardest part. They run along side then bounce up on his back.

"As long as you don't lean in like your feet get close to his feet you won't get under him," said Kalei Rice.

The littlest member, Tehya Almeida, needs a leg up to begin her program.

"Somebody helps me up by holding my leg up and somebody bends my legs and I jump up," said Almeida.

All the action happens on a patient and steady horse named Sonny Delight.

Koa Yokota is working on a new trick called the flank.

"It's when you swing your legs to the inside and jump down and jump back on the horse," said Yokota.

The scissors is another move that requires a lot of precision and strength.

"The scissors, well you have to keep your legs straight and the hardest part is crossing," explained Aurora Yokota.

And Sonny doesn't mind if Kalei Rice invites a buddy to ride along with her. This is much harder than it looks with the horse trotting along the timing has to be perfect. They perform tricks in tandem to the delight of the crowd.

"What's it like standing on the back of a horse?"

"It's like flying, I think," said Ogata.

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