A former international vaulter has shared her love for the sport in an emotive new advert.
Wales-based Rosie Howard and her horses, Casper and Tinker, star in the promotional video by chocolate company Galaxy.
Clips are shown of Rosie vaulting bridleless and galloping through beautiful countryside as she explains her passion for the sport.
The video has been shared on Galaxy’s Facebook page and has been viewed more than 22,000 times.
Rosie said it provided an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of vaulting.
“It’s such a fantastic sport and I’m so passionate about it,” she told H&H. “I’ve always done it rather than riding because it’s so much cheaper.
“Vaulting groups can have 20 to 30 children and just two or three horses. If you have a team it’s six to eight people working with one horse.
“It makes it far more accessible for children to get involved with horses.
“It’s also good for fitness work — it’s gymnastics on horseback.
“I teach beginner lessons and most people will be able to at least kneel in canter and some will be able to stand by the end of the first lesson.
“It’s amazing how you progress so quickly.”
After retiring from international competitions, Rosie worked for equestrian stunt company, the Devils Horseman, before setting up her own vaulting display company, Galloping Acrobatics.
“It allows me to promote vaulting as a sport,” she said.
“So many people who are horsey haven’t heard of vaulting. But I’ve been doing shows for 14 years and more and more people know about it now, it is growing but it’s still a minority sport.”
Rosie has taught Tinker to work without a bridle and this impressive skill is demonstrated in the Galaxy advert.
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“The first time I did it at a show he was perfect — I was so proud of him,” said Rosie.
“The temperament of a vaulting horses is first and foremost.”
Casper and Tinker are not Rosie’s only horses. She recently bought two young tiger noriker horses, Max and Moritz, a breed native to Austria.
The youngsters are being slowly brought on to join Rosie’s display team.
Rosie advised those interested in getting involved in vaulting to find their nearest group via British Equestrian Vaulting (BEV) (britishvaulting.org).
“BEV will also help you set up a group, they’re really pushing grassroots level involvement, so there’s lots of funding to be had,” added Rosie.
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