Amara Green’s Blogs -“Introduction”
All the Gear and Some Idea!
Hi, my name is Amara. I’m 14, I live in west Auckland and have ridden for nearly 8 years now. I am a showjumper and compete with my teammates; 16.2hh 5-year-old Warmblood mare, Daisy ECPH (Daisy) who I’ve competed to 1.05m, 14.2hh 12-year-old gelding late starter Galaxy Gingerbread Man (Pou) who I’ve competed to Pony Mini Prix, 14.2hh 10-year-old gelding Triple Star Short Fuse (Winston) I’ve competed to 1.05m, and not to forget 8hh 25-year-old stallion Tiny Toy Snipperado (Roy).
My current coaches are Mark Wells from Evolution Equestrian, Mark is a former World cup and Grand Prix show jumper. Colin and Toni McIntosh, Colin has represented New Zealand in the Olympics for Show Jumping and Toni is an accomplished Grand Prix and World Cup showjumper (Toni and Colin also coach Mark), and Fiona Craig, former Grand Prix dressage rider who helped train the New Zealand Olympic team for Eventing.
Joe with his owner Rebekah Chandler-Bruce.
I started my journey at the age of 7 at Rayner Riding on a little grey pony named Joe and I have to admit, I wasn’t a very natural rider! I had the worst balance; I was wobbling all over the place and would fall asleep constantly whilst riding and wake up on the ground. It took me about a year to figure out that Joe was in fact a ‘boy’ pony when I was doing up his cover straps and he was just getting ready to do his business. Joe was an amazing pony to kick start my career (addiction) of horse riding, but sadly passed away from Leukemia in September 2012.
I continued on to ride a pony named Phoenix who was owned by Jane Callaghan (who also taught me) and I learnt to jump on her. I remember the first time I jumped huge massive 73cm jump, when I got home, I sprinted inside unable to hold in my excitement, connected Mum’s phone to the tv and played the video over and over and over again until I felt satisfied and then watched it again after that.
Me at one of my first shows.
And then FINALLY my FIRST EVER PONY! His name was Boggie, Bizzie, Boggles or what we liked to call him “the cheeky little French man” (Mum had another not so PG name for him!). Boggie was the cutest little 12hh chestnut Welsh pony, but don’t let looks deceive you, he could be very, very naughty! Boggie would be trotting or cantering along calmly and when he saw the opportunity to drop his shoulder, he would take it! I went tumbling onto the ground (often crying) and he’d run off or should I say “dance” off with his nose in the air with a smirk on his face. Soon enough I could sit to his shoulder dropping trick and he had to get a bit more creative, so I’d have my reins collected up ready to start walking and he’d drop his head to the ground and I’d slide all the way down his neck and take his bridle off on my way down, so then again he could prance away with his head in the air smirking.
Pony #2 was the incredible Just Cruisin’ aka Cruise. Cruise was a big full-size pony who was WAYYYY too big for me at the time, but we made it work. Cruise was a major confidence booster for me, and he had the biggest heart. Cruise and I did many ribbon days when starting out, we had heaps of fun but got to a point where we always brought a champion home and eventually got up to the open ring and were jumping about 1.20m in the ‘tip n outs’ when I was about 9. Eventually I had to move away from ribbon days (although I did get a kick out of angry 16-year-olds getting beaten by a 9-year-old) and move up to doing show hunter, yes, I was a show hunter, and I absolutely loved it even if we only got 4th places and the odd 3rd. I thought show hunter was my passion and absolutely despised show jumping, well that was until I tried it myself and felt the thrill in jump offs (even if they looked extremely slow, it felt fast to me!), the fun roll backs and the fact that you weren’t out of the placings if you got a wrong lead! As amazing as Cruise was, he still had his quirks… he HATED cross-country, he thought it was far too much exercise for him so would stop and rear halfway through the course. As you may be able to tell Cruise was quite lazy, so if I was asking him to move faster than he wanted to he’d throw in a big buck launching me out of the saddle on to his neck, although I very rarely fell off because he’d just biff me straight back into place. Cruise was supposed to be my “forever pony” but we made the tough decision to sell him so he could teach another girl how to ride and to keep him moving since I had 2 other ponies at this time (whom I’ll talk about in the next paragraphs) which made it harder to ride him more than 3 times a week.