Vault Tosses – Learning a Horizontal Hover

Continuous Flick

The rotation of the disc will happen throughout the stroke of the toss. The wrist will open slowly, and establish rotation as the arm moves up from below the waist to above the handler’s eyes. This long, continuous flick will ensure that the disc is able to rotate on it’s way up to the target. We’ll just take a long stroke and open that wrist and set the disc upon the shelf.

Manipulating the Wing

As we are working vaults, sometimes we need to adjust the orientation of the disc. Perhaps the disc needs to be flat. Sometimes it will need the left side up higher. Sometimes a catch will require the Right side of the disc to be higher. Being able to control the orientation of the rim on a vault toss or Horizontal Hover is key to being able to throw it appropriately for any situation.

Throw High as an Overcorrection

Once we have the Horizontal Hover working for us, we want to take it to the extreme so the simple expressions of the behavior are far easier to achieve. We’ll throw this Horizontal Hover as high as we can, successfully, in order to make the simple, 3 foot toss easier to perform.

Throw Behind You

If we are having a problem keeping the disc over top of us, if it is flying out in front of us, we can make the conscious choice to throw the disc backwards. By having the ability to throw the disc backwards, we can ensure that we can control the placement of the disc in relation to the plane of our bodies.

Dueling Vault Tosses

Our dogs pressure us with their movement every time we throw a vault. Their movement and timing affects the throw on every single repetition. Sometimes it is very hard to handle that pressure in terms of timing as we are throwing a disc to a particular spot. This dueling Vault Tosses drill creates a situation where we can practice performing this skill on a dynamic timetable.

Please ask any questions about throwing vault and over tosses in comments below.

Related Articles

The Purpose and Value of Recognizing Shapes in Disc Dog Freestyle

Shapes are created by the position and movement of dog, handler, and disc. And shapes can be created by the dog, the handler, and the placement of the disc. Shapes are a fact of disc dog freestyle.

When the dog leaves the handler for a catch, that tends to create a line. When the dog is away from the handler and moves across the field to make a catch, as in a Zig Zag or Around the World, that tends to create a Shape.


  1. Ron,
    It’s awesome that you use someone who is newer to show us these throws because each of use will more then likely throw the same when we start!

    Great video once again!


  2. Hi Ron,

    I think it would be great if you show us how really start a now/young dog on vaults (leg and back vaults). You covered basic throwing for vaults, timing, cuing and starting from these is pretty straightforward, “i know” 🙂 you have a great experience with a lot of dogs and i really like to talk about.
    I have a young boy (Ozz) to start with in a few months and this time i want to do it right.

    Thank you

    1. I worked it in a video the other day with Susan and Ella from France. Real nice, simple stuff, but I had nobody running the camera and all you can see is Ella’s but and tail during pretty much all of it. Grr!!!

      I’ll see what we can do.

  3. Lovely clarity in this video, thanks. I have never thrown frisbees before so this is incredibly helpful. I’ve just been practising in my hotel room, hahahaha! Juggling too – I’m still rotten at both, but going slowly and I’ll get there in the end. It’s so good in this respect that I’m not with my dog at the moment.

  4. Hi Ron,
    I’m working on leg vaults and just can’t get the timing right. I have a High Drive ACD/mix
    Do you have any tips? Ed

    1. Hey Ed,
      We’re going to cover that in Week 5 Vaults and Overs…

      This article was actually created for Week 5, but I decided that it would be better to drop it in this week so people could have a bit more practice before they feel pressured to apply it in Week 5.

      Patience, Ed…
      A link to some video of you guys playing would be nice.


  5. This is a great video, helpful to see the concepts at work. I am doing pretty well with the flat hoover but a lot of difficulty with the rim tilting right. The other tilts are ok, (not as reliable as the flat one, but I can manage it and its getting better) but the one where I tilt the rim down into the hand I am holding it with, is all over the place. I can’t get the disc to rotate. I also don’t think in general my discs are rotating as much as these in the video. I put some duct tape pieces on the underside of my disc so I could better judge how much rotation I was getting, and its not a lot.

    1. Take your time, Kirby. Get the placement and rim orientation first and then start to worry about the spin.

      The downward wing position is kind of tough, as is the right.

      We’ll talk about (and experiment with the throw on the hangout tonight.

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