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News Link • Entertainment: Sports

Think Soccer Is Tough? Try Handstands On A Horse

• http://www.npr.org, by Anna King
 

Some kids play soccer, others play chess and some stand on the backs of galloping horses. Lately, equestrian vaulting is finding a foothold with children in Oregon and Washington. Parents say like any sport, it teaches concentration and gives kids a boost of confidence.

Seth Rouhier is 9-years-old and a paperweight of 55 pounds. It's a blustery afternoon in this sand-filled arena here in central Washington. Seth's mom cues up the freestyle vaulting music on a boom box.

A Quarter horse named Mo is running in a giant circle around the arena. Seth is wearing a black and red spandex bodysuit. When he gets the "go" from his trainer he doesn't hesitate. He runs from the center of the circle and leaps onto the horse's back.

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