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Nicolas Andréani

Grace is not only feminine and Nicolas Andréani has been able to show it through the energy, poetry and precision of his vaulting. The European and World Champion, along with his lifelong lunger Marina Joosten Dupon, imposed the creativity of French vaulting at high level for more than 24 years. Now retired from competition, he has been performing at the most prestigious events such as the FEI World Cup Finals in Paris or the Royal Jump de Bertichères.

Hello Maddy,

So, it's not a victory but it's the first big competition that made me realize I wanted to compete at the high level, and to be a world champion: it was the European Championship in 1997, when I was the 'little guy' of the team, and I was carried by the others.

I was 13 years old, and I did awesome exercises. It was the first time I did a double stand up with hands, standing on my partner's shoulders, it was extraordinary at this time, now it's more common.

When I dismount, French and strangers as well came to see me and told me that it was awesome!

Even if we were 5th in the ranking, it was a big emotion. I told myself 'that's what I want to live, moments when I do crazy things on the circle to give pleasure to people.' It lit a fire in me, and it shined brighter in 2009, with my gold medal at the European Championship, with Marina.

Then, the three World Cup victories, it's rewarding because it's free (no imposed exercises), I was able to express myself, I tested more artistic program, I loved it. And it was during big showjumping competitions, the World Cup circuit needs to remain.


Hello Kareen,

It's my team who works my horses. For the rhythm, they do flatwork, and then on the circle with a metronome to be more precise.
You need to check the rhythm with tongue clicks at the beginning. It will then become a regular work rhythm, and you won't need tongue clicks.


Hello Amy,

No, I don't think I would have been a rider in another equestrian discipline. I am quickly frustrated when I'm sitting in the saddle, I need to have fun with my horse, to become one him.

I love hacking but I don't like to spend hours and hours on my saddle.


Hello Jessica,

I think there's a problem with the training of riding instructors and coachs. They don't know what vaulting is, so they can't teach it.
Federations should use vaulting as a mean, and not necessarily as the goal. For example, while they learn their job, coachs should learn the vaulting's basics, so that they can teach it to their future riders.
I work with the French federation toward this ideal.


Hello Scott,

You need to work on your center of gravity, and to work it on the ground, with unstable elements like a 'bosu'.
You work step by step, to try to be always lighter in the saddle.

I am also a physical trainer for riders, the @ffe calls me to work with French team jumping, dressage and vaulting riders.

We mainly try to teach them proprioception exercises, to try to release the horse's mouth, and to be balanced.

Whatever happens under us, we need to have our pelvis, shoulders, and heels aligned. And in vaulting, it's our specificity, when we are standing on a horse, we need to be able to balance ourselves in the best way.


Hello Lauren,

There was an immediate support, from the public and the judges as well. Ratings weren't crazy from the beginning, because a program is like an eclipse, it evolves to reach its apogee, then we get tired of it.

After my soldier program, there was a FEI meeting, and my program was taken as an example of what they wanted vaulting to tend toward.


Hello Melinda,

A regular work is required, my horses are trained 5 times a week, once or twice a week in vaulting at the most, to preserve them.

They have a follow-up of high level athletes, with a farrier, the federal staff who follow them during international competitions and trainings clinics, and make regular check up. They also see the osteopath, have massages to avoid contractures, stretching before being ridden, a lot of walk before starting to work so that the horse's muscles aren't cold,...


Hello Will,

My friend, Claire de Ridder, is selected with the Holland team, so I'll follow her closely.

I'll probably keep an eye on the French team too, as I work with them. I think the @ffe will be very opened for me to watch our athletes ' competition.


Hello Alexia,

What I miss the most is the scene, and I offset it with shows. It allow me to go further than in competition, there are no required exercises, no timing. The only judge is the public, at the end with the applauses.
Thanks to that, I still can create emotions, which is my main pleasure when I'm on a horseback.


Hello again K F,

My first pony was a Fjord, a strong pony named Nico 🙂

In France, we often have Selle Français horses, who measures at least 1m70, so when I went from ponies to horses, it was on a Selle Français. It's great to have big horses who can do everything, for little and tall riders as well.

The taller the horse is, the wider the stride will be, the easier it will be to read and transcribe it.

If you do vaulting on a pony, we obviously feel more 'shaken'. The most important is the morphology, we need a tall and big horse, who is more at ease with gallop than with trot. Whatever the breed, it's the morphology we are looking for.

Little anecdote, in the club where I'm from, one day, my lifelong lunger Marina Joosten-Dupon used my personal pony, the one I had when I was a kid. Nobody could ride her, she would throw everyone on the ground, including me! I had stopped riding her, even the club couldn't put a lot of people to ride her (it made me only want to do vaulting). So, one day, my lunger took her for vaulting, I was very surprised and I told myself 'she wants all the vaulters to fall?'. But, quickly, we realized that what was bothering her was the heels of the rider, and the contact with the mouth. While vaulting, she only had the contact with the lunge.

It's sometimes interesting to take horses with sensitive mouth for vaulting. That pony was finally used for 'baby vaulting', she made all the first vaulting lessons of young vaulters!