We have all had those lightbulb moments in our journeys with our horses. Something clicks and at last your horse is enjoying itself as much as you, or you finally get the changes right in the Advanced test. You know the feeling. Other times, it takes setbacks or personal circumstances to intervene before you see the light. Whether you are just starting out or are at the top of the game, these moments of epiphany can be life-changing – just look at some of our featured riders in this issue.
For Brett Parbery, it took a forced rest after serious injury for him to formulate his true focus; for Maree Tomkinson, despite time off competitions due to Covid and personal grief, she remains committed to her talented team and the sport she loves. For Tristan Tucker, the global shutdown gave him the chance to step back from competition and nurture his online training program into a thriving international community.
Show rider Rebecca Farrow saw the light long ago when she took on ex-racehorses with much success, and her star performer Stage Presence is validating her faith with bells on. Aussie science fiction writer Karen Miller shelved her love of horses to become a best-selling author, but events changed in her life and she decided it was time to fulfil her own fantasy of building her dream equestrian centre.
We’ve all been following Roger Fitzhardinge’s engaging series on legendary Australasian horsewoman Carolyn Lieutenant. This issue’s final instalment shows how Carolyn also took time to smell the roses when others might have wilted.
So, the message is, when things take a turn out of your control, take a breather and reflect – but not for too long. Get back and grab those reins with both hands with the benefit of wisdom and clarity and purpose.
Much of this newfound exuberance was on display at Willinga Park last month. After a year between drinks, top competition returned to this fabulous equestrian temple for Dressage by the Sea. Read all about how Jayden Brown is shining there in his new role, while Mary Hanna and John Thompson sparkled in the arena. Also back in business this year was the Eventing Summer Classic at SIEC, where riders from all over the country flocked to this first Australian event of 2021 to feature FEI level classes.
Dr Kerry Mack turns her analytical mind to exploring how to better connect with your horse through a new school of thought, the Polyvagal Theory, while veterinarian Maxine Brain reminds us of the residual effects of heavy metal toxicities in the environment.
Heath Ryan uses his column in this issue to pounce on the exciting news that the International Olympic Committee has chosen Brisbane as its preferred candidate to host the 2032 Olympics. For young riders aspiring to be there, now is the time to plan your campaign.
And to lighten the load somewhat, enjoy Suzy Jarratt’s take on the movie Hidalgo in her delightful series on horses in the movies. Never let it be said that actor Viggo Mortensen is a one-trick pony, she says, as she praises him for being the rare actor who can really ride! EQ
As always, have fun riding,