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Personal stories

It Doesn’t Always Go Smoothly

September 2017

Buoyed by how well young Dante behaved at his first foray into the world of endurance riding, I entered him in a second training ride. This one was 20 kilometres and would be his longest ride to date. My teenage daughter, Lauren, asked if she could ride him this time, with me riding 22-year-old Floss. Since Lauren’s Welsh Pony, Timmy, retired last year, we’ve been sharing Floss and Dante. It works well and I had no qualms about Lauren riding Dante in the 20km ride - and I’m always happy on Floss.

Riding Out the Monsoon

August 2017

As orange as her own hair and with the same bright personality, the striking and elegant Monsoon stormed into Aukje van Vark’s life to prove that with horses - as in life - it never rains, it pours.   Originally from the Netherlands, Aukje moved to Australia with her husband and three daughters in search of opportunities to reconnect with nature; in the way others born in this astounding continent take for granted. Space, lifestyle and better weather to enjoy them were top of their list.  

The Freedom Rider

August 2017

At 17, most young women are completing their final years at high school; filled with big ideas and grand plans for their careers, and the start of their adult lives. But, for Agnes, at just 17 years of age, she was coming to terms with the possibility she would never be able to stand up or walk again. The result of three diseases that had progressively affected her body since birth, leading to Agnes having to adapt her life to reliance on a wheelchair and a manual hand-controlled motor vehicle for mobility.

Green Pony Blog: Rising to the Challenge

August 2017

Endurance riding has long been one of my ambitions, so when I saw there was a 10km training ride on offer a short float ride away from the paddock, I decided it was too good an opportunity to let pass.  Ten kilometres would be no big deal for Dante as far as distance went, so the event would provide an opportunity to expose him to an occasion with dozens of other horses, the vet ring and all the attendant excitement. I convinced my daughter to come along as well and ride old Floss, who we knew would be calm and steady - a good support for Dante on his first big outing.

Finding Your Own Way

July 2017

Featured on our front cover this month is a beautiful photo of Laura Mitton and her horse ‘Graphic Design’ - aka Nelson - taken by Averil Crebbin of Picture the Moment Photography.  Laura is an up-and-coming showjumper - eager to find her way and carve her name into the horse industry; keen for a taste of the big jumps and for the chance to compete at international level in Europe.

Calming the Dragon

July 2017

I woke up and looked out the back of the float on a misty morning, with Dante looking at me over the fence of his yard a few metres away. It was the first day of the Carlos Tabernaberri clinic and we’d travelled down to Denmark, on Western Australia’s south coast, for it the day before. I went about my morning tasks full of nervous anticipation. It would be the first time I’d had Dante under saddle in a setting like this, with multiple other unknown horses and riders. 

Everyday Horse Heroes

July 2017

Featured on our cover this month are Tanya McDermott and her Standardbred trotter Kyvalley Mac (better known as Noddy), photographed by Louise Sedgman.  A long and passionate defender of Standardbred welfare, Tanya is manager of Harness Racing Victoria’s Harness Education and Re-homing Opportunities (HERO) program which, since 2015, has been creating positive pathways for Standardbreds exiting the racing environment. 

A Real Journey

July 2017

I snuggled down into my sleeping bag in my swag, lying on the floor of the float, with the tail gate down so I could look out and see Dante in his yard, munching hay in the moonlight. It had been quite a journey to get here, not just the five and a half hour trip we’d made that day, but the week leading up to the day as well.

Horse-Mad for Life

May 2017

Featured on our cover this month is a beautiful photograph by Olya Tutova of Marlene Holohan and her Appaloosa mare, Moonshine Jinxy Minx. A mare who is better known as ‘The Dragon’ for her larger-than-life personality and for having “an opinion about everything”, according to her owner. 

A Place of Introspection

May 2017

It has been nearly ten years since Kari Fulmek and Carolyn Charles first set up their equine assisted learning business, Equine Connection. “It was three years at least of crying and overspending, and really bashing our heads against brick walls,” Carolyn says.  “But, you don’t really bash your head against walls unless you know: this is a goer,” interjects Jane. Both women are speaking to me from Willowwood Stables, the home of Jane Hemingway-Mohr and the base of her equestrian business in the northern suburbs of Sydney.


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