Handstand on a horse? No problem
DOING a handstand on the back of a cantering horse would result in a trip to the emergency ward for most people.
For Scenic Rim vaulter David Waller, however, this feat is something he achieves almost every day.
The unique sport of vaulting isn't as popular in Australia as it is overseas - a fact the Peak Crossing resident is passionate about changing.
David describes vaulting as a combination of dance and gymnastics on horseback and says the sport had resonated in every aspect of his young life.
His passion for the sport was ignited when he was 15 years old.
"I started vaulting in 2007 due to equine influenza. With EI, vaulting was the only horse sport that continued because we could train on a barrel," he says.
"I stopped dressage and other training with horses and focused on vaulting from then on."
David says without the sport he would not be working in his dream job, would not have met his finance Emily or, more recently, celebrated the birth of his first child, Keelie.
"Emily and I began vaulting together and started talking more and it just clicked," David says.
"Vaulting definitely brought us together. With Keelie here now we can almost start our own vaulting team."
David has worked for Outback Spectacular on the Gold Coast as a trainer and performer for the past three years and is a vital part of the elaborate show.
The former WestMAC student has now taken his passion one step further by coaching his beloved sport.
This year the registered vaulting coach will travel the state with fellow Outback Spectacular trick rider Hollie Shiels visiting pony clubs and hosting workshops to promote the sport.
"Vaulting is so fun, you get out of your comfort zone and it's great for health and fitness," David says.
"That's why (Hollie and I) are travelling around Queensland to teach kids about trick riding and vaulting."
The new father, his partner Emily and their four-week-old daughter have recently moved into a house on the same 100 acre property where David was born.
"I actually was born in the front yard of my parents' house because mum is paraplegic so she couldn't feel any contractions," David says.
"I've been riding horses since I was two. Growing up with mum being in a wheelchair was hard because she was able to walk and ride horses bareback before I was born.
"It was hard for our family but I've kept in horses and am doing what mum and I love. She's always been on the sidelines telling me what to do."
Although the drive to the Gold Coast is a long one to complete every day, the Peak Crossing local says he wouldn't want to raise a family anywhere else.
"I was on the committee for Vaulting Queensland so Outback Spectacular contacted me in 2013 and said they were after someone who could do bareback riding, teach trick riding and vaulting so I put my hand up," David says.
"My first part of the job was to train the girls to perform and to train the horses. I also play the role of a stock man in the show.
"I love performing for people so with horses being involved it's my dream job. I also love being in the country, being around horses and the peace and quiet out here."