“This isn’t to say that the horses that wanted to be high but hollow weren’t ridden deep and round, as they were. Every horse had its own frame that needed addressing. It was always, no matter what frame or when or where, we were always told ‘lighter aids and don’t support the horse, he must go alone, be light and responsive’. Of course, one of the other points Steffen was a stickler for was lines. Accurate lines with every single horse you rode, and every time you went around that dressage arena, the lines you rode had to be foot perfect until they were simply ingrained and instinctive.”
The consistency and repetitiveness were a real eye opener and there were no magic wands and gadgets and bits to fix problems. It was simply good riding and expert eyes on the ground with the entire team all thinking along the same lines. Emma became a sought-after coach and a competent and confident competition rider who took it all in her stride with a steely determination to make the most of every movement and mark. She always knows the discipline in everyday riding and coaching and feels it eventually becomes second nature, a feeling that grows within.
It had been 12 years away and Emma realised that life without her beloved family was taking a toll on her. With Covid and the world being turned upside down, it was a sensible time to return to Australia and resume where she had left off at the Glenorie property. It has been leased to Denise Rogan Dressage, and is beautifully set up and maintained. Emma is now putting in some new stables, new day yards, an outdoor arena and a horse walker for her use in addition to what is already there. She will train on the property separately from Rogan Dressage but all under the same property and facilities.
At the moment Sean and Emma are staying with her parents who have bought the property next door. Both Velvet and Zidane are now back in Australia and will be retired at the property and perhaps get a little work along the way. Emma is looking at finding some horses to start for herself and is still working on the facility while Sean is working at building the infrastructure. It is a far cry from the 80 stables that were always full at Steffen Peters’.
Emma is super happy to be back in Australia and is all the wiser for her experience. She can’t wait to get stuck into imparting her knowledge and way of riding and training. She feels she really has a very good grasp on the way to Grand Prix and is ever grateful for the input from Steffen Peters and all the help she has been given over the 12 years. Her confidence is well and truly secure, and when she gets the chance to get to a competition she will be right up there mixing it with the best.
The new competitive Emma, which has grown from a modest beginning, is a big confident part of her demeanour now. That’s thanks to her wise decision to follow her dream and finish what she started out to do. Emma has certainly put her nose to the grindstone and shown dedication to the cause. Her grit and fortitude to make the stay with Steffen Peters has for sure paid off, and now home in Australia she is a well-rounded, dressage-oriented horsewoman and competitor.
Her life is now going to be a rollercoaster ride with a really wonderful blank canvas for her to start her dressage endeavours in an environment that is so much her life and love. Given her experience, her return to Australia is timely indeed and with Sean by her side the sky seems the limit.
With Covid restrictions in place there is no doubt that necessity is the mother of invention, and being at home again with her inspiring family and friends, who knows which direction Emma will take: into the dressage coaching and training, or perhaps another online gig. Whatever path Emma chooses, it will be quietly achieved with professionalism, waggishness, cheer and joy. EQ