I have always been horse mad even as a young child and at the age of 12, I got my first horse. Her name was Shelly and I loved that horse like nothing else on this earth. There were a few more ponies on my way to 17 when I started my Nursing career at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. A move to the city put my horses on the back burner for quite a few years.
Fast forward to the age of 34 when I met a colleague (who was to become a dear friend) whilst working in the Intensive Care Unit of a city hospital. I found out that Waddy (that’s her name) owned and rode competitively. I asked if could meet her horses and that was it – I was hooked!
I purchased Of The Track Thoroughbreds (OTTB) which were unsuitable for a 34-year-old getting back into horses but I thank them every day as they are what put me on the journey to where I am today.
I started with eventing and I had one horse called Charlie, well he was a bugger to get on the float and I remember the day my life changed. I was heading out to a competition and he would not go on the float. He spun around and took off back to his paddock. For some reason, I would not let go of the lead-rope and he was dragging me face-first along the ground. I vividly remember thinking “there has to be a better way than this” and then I let go. That was the turning point where my “horsemanship” journey started. I worked with a lot of talented horsemen who shared their knowledge with me. I became fascinated with how horses learnt and how I could work with them.
I bought an OTTB who I called Josh, he was a very talented jumping horse and a cross country machine so it was with him that I remember thinking ” if I always finish on my dressage score I had better make it a good score”.
With that thought, I was off to find the best “dressage” coach I could and that lady was Prue Foletta. She had trained with Harry Boldt and although she was a tough taskmaster she also bred some lovely Holsteiner horses and one of those was a big grey called Weasel. He was a 4-year-old, not started under saddle and I asked if she would let me start him under her guidance. She did, he was an absolute gentleman and I ended up buying him and still have him 16 years later!
It wasn’t too long after starting Weasel that I thought about everything I wanted to know about training horses. I had just moved past that point where you think you know everything and realise you know nothing at all! I knew I didn’t have enough years left in my life to fit all the learning in so I had better put horses in my years. With that, I decided to start a business starting horses under saddle and working with problem horses and I did that for a few years, learnt so much and got through the other side in one piece.
I closed my business as I began to realise that there were no horse problems only people problems and the “6 weeks” to start a horse did not fit every horse yet people often expected the job done regardless of what was best for the horse. I didn’t have the heart to do it anymore.
Today I make videos to help the rider, who like me, needs everything broken down to the smallest part. I thank the horses for teaching me this and I hope that I can help you and your horse.
Dressage is still my passion and I am grateful for the horsemanship knowledge I have as they truly are the same.
My mission is to explain this to you.