Riders' Love of riding
Friday, 18 September 2009
Christeen Maunsell-Wade, lives and breathes horses. Born and brought up in the Albany area she was from a very ‘horsey’ family.
“Like my entire family I’ve been riding all my life; aunties, uncles – every generation has ridden to many levels, and both my grown-up children went through pony club.”
Christeen spent 20 years living and working in Australia. “I taught pony club over there and I did a lot of training and eventing with the Olympic B squad.” Today she is a highly qualified teacher, (EFA Level 1, Gen CEd, QISEA), and coach to all levels. After a life-time of dealing with horses Christeen believes she can see good in every horse.
“They always have something about them, and have personalities you can work with – even if they are not easy at first. I think my favourites are the thoroughbreds. It may be a statistic thing, but most top eventing horses tend to be thoroughbreds. They are quick thinking and have great survival instincts.”
Is there one thing Christeen looks for in a young rider? “Simple: determination! I always ask children when they first come to me what their goals are. They may well want to go to the Olympics or just be able to stay on at a canter. They have to have the dedication to make the pony jump and work for them, and be able to practice what their coach tells them away from the lesson. In short, have a total love of what they are doing.”
This year during the Spring school holidays, Christeen is again running her three day event at the well-known Wood Hill Sands, aimed at young riders preparing for the competition season.
“I didn’t really plan any of it,” she said. “I was actually asked to set up something by a parent at a pony club, and it has become a very successful format. It will be a dedicated, full-on three days! The children will be there from 9-5 and we will finish with a mini-ODE.”