My name is Melissa Rose.
I currently reside on the Mid-North Coast in New South Wales, Australia.
I have had a love of horses since I can remember. I have been lucky to have owned horses for almost my entire life. This obsession started at the age of 5 or 6 years old when I was lucky enough to own my first horse; Beau.
I can still remember coming down the back steps of our house and seeing a horse standing in the backyard with my parents. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
I pulled a lemon off a tree and offered it to him to eat. Although he was not impressed, I fell in love instantly.
I attended Wallsend New Lambton Pony Club (formerly Wallsend Pony Club) and any spare moment I had I would jump our back fence and walk to Beau’s paddock. My world was perfect!
My Auntie Marie has been involved in this Club for my entire life. I remember when my cousin, also named Melissa, won the First Place Point Score Trophy and I came Second. That trophy still annoys me and she always reminded me of it when I saw her.
I was blessed to be able to keep Beau when my parents divorced and we moved to a farm north of Newcastle. In my mind, there was no doubt that I would end up at the Olympics representing Australia.
The years flew by and I had moved back to Newcastle to live with my mother. I had a few horses that I borrowed from time to time. There was Molly; a brown Mare, Flash; a chestnut gelding and Chester also a chestnut gelding, who provided me with my first ribbon at a One Day Event. Things were looking good, only I didn’t have my own horse and I desperately wanted one.
My mother helped me purchase an off the track Thoroughbred; we named him Billy.
He was $700 and I had to pay him off monthly because he was more than I could afford.
I was lucky enough for Billy to enter my life in March 1994 and I still own him to this day.
He turned 28 in November 2017.
I competed any chance I could, but I never did that well, and was often reduced to tears from frustration.
I sometimes would be lucky enough to win a ribbon. We won a Pony Club Championship once, a sixth place in dressage at Alexander Park Dressage Club was a highlight; but there was no consistency. I had limited money and I could never afford professional lessons, so my riding plateaued.
I was blessed to work with an Olympic Show Jumper in NSW and also work full-time as a groom for a German Eventer. I honed my skills and learned so much from these experiences.
Billy was quite simply an amazing horse to own and compete.
Even though it was quite evident that he lacked skill (as did I), he was an easy-going fellow and unflappable at Competitions.
He had a calm attitude and a willingness that made competing easy for me. We have many Ribbons, Medals and Trophies, not to mention albums and albums of photographs.
Billy was officially retired after his final Dressage Competition on 4 November 2012, where he placed 4th with 62% at 23 years of age.
Not bad mate.
In 2009 some friends took me to the Sydney CDI and overnight I was hooked on Dressage!
I quickly realised I needed a Dressage horse, but I didn’t have any money to purchase one (at least not the amount of money I needed), so I started to look for horses being given away;
And then along came Freddy…
Freddy was in a paddock living in Nerang, Queensland and this was the first picture I was sent of him.
I thought at the time he was covered in mud, but those patches are bald spots as he had the Queensland Itch!
I borrowed a float from a friend and we drove up to get him on June 5, 2011. It was freezing, he was miserable and I couldn’t wait to get him out of there!
Freddy is a 17 hand, flaxen chestnut gelding. I put him on the lunge and realised he had potential.
I now needed to get him healthy.
Fast forward three years and he is now a picture of health and the itch is gone.
But he had behavioural issues and a problem with the right canter lead. There was bucking and bolting and resistance. But still I persisted.
And then there was a float issue.
I hadn’t ever had my own horse float and so it was time to buy one.
And so in 2012 I did. End of story. I love how it feels to be able to hook it up to my car and just take off to compete.
And then along came Moo…
The world has a way of offering you things when you least expect it nor can you handle it, but when I saw Moo I knew he belonged with me.
Moo is a 16.1 hand brown gelding and he weighed 419kgs when I took him on! I was given him after he finished his racing career where he earned over $90,000. Not bad for a horse with a splade hoof at the front!
I took all my knowledge, and with a little help along the way, Moo has been transformed into a wonderful mount.
He has the most gentle nature and a willingness to learn that is like nothing I have experienced.
I didn’t have a lot of time to train him at first, so he sat in the paddock for 18 months wasting away.
But the day I was ready to commit; he was there waiting!
He was and is effortless to train. 🙂
He tries so hard in all that he does and even in moments of confusion he gives his all. He is my unicorn!
He competed in Walk & Trot tests in 2016 and with each outing he improved from the one previous.
He has tried his hand at Working Equitation, Pony Club and Show Jumping. He also went to Pony Club and all of these experiences have provided me with a horse who is not spooky and loves to get on with the job at hand.
He competed in his first Preliminary in 2017, scoring 53% and by November 2017 he was scoring 65% and competing Novice and scoring 61%!
In October 2017 I had a Show Jumping lesson with Moo. I thought, surely this horse must be good at this too. And he was!
He’s such a Superstar!
The first lesson he was a bit confused at what the deal was, but then I took him to a Show Jump Club and by the third round Moo looked as though he had been Jumping for years!
I now believe I have a possible Eventer under saddle also and he may begin a little Eventing in 2019.
2018 was such a successful year for Moo and I.
After personal best scores of 65% and 68% in Preliminary Dressage and a year of competing all over the state, Moo and I qualified for the Australian Adult Amateur Dressage Championships.
This was a goal of mine since the beginning of 2017 and we missed out last year, but this year we were there with bells on!
They were held in Caboolture Queensland in September 2018.
We competed in the Preliminary 1:1 and the Preliminary 1:3 and scored just below our goal of 60% on both occasions.
I was and am so proud of Moo and also of us as a team. I feel that together we can’t go wrong and despite my riding not being perfect and Moo having poor confirmation we seem to just keep smashing goals and living our dreams together.
The 2019 Calendar will see Moo and I compete in Eventing and run towards our future across the country.
The future looks bright no matter where the road leads us.
It took three years for the Canter lead to become established but Freddy and were then on the road to success!
Freddy scored some wonderful scores in 2017.
A highlight being a score of 58% and 6th place at NADEC which is a fantastic club with wonderful horse and rider combinations; so sixth felt like winning to me!
We had some wonderful adventures together, until Arthritis set in on his back left hock.
I was devastated! I am rather persistent though when I put my mind to something I want. I was not giving up on this horse and I certainly wasn’t accepting that this was the end of our partnership!
Dr Grass and Dr Time for 18 months and my 19 year old Freddy is still lame.
I am unsure what 2019 holds for Fred and I…
It was in this 3 year period that I also completed my Equestrian Australia Introductory Coaching Certificate and I also became an official Dressage Judge in July 2017.
I started a Neuro-Linguistics Programming course and set more goals.
What a roller-coaster of a time it was!
It all came together December 2016, the time of my 40th Birthday.
My book, that had been in my mind for 20 years found itself being written.
This is Book One in a series.
It is a book I have written about the basics of owning and caring for a Horse, how to train your horse and how to put yourself in a position of Leadership with your horse.
The next book will purely focus on Dressage Training and competing. It will be titled “So… You want to do Dressage, Now What?”
I began my Equestrian Australia Level One Coaching Certificate in October 2017 and I have finished the first of the three modules.
I am so grateful to be a part of this Australian Brand.
Their products are of a top quality they have Competition Wear, Fashion and also Horse Rugs and products. I have many of their items and they are all wonderful. I am so proud to wear their items and promote a business I believe in!!
I would be lying if I said that my life was perfect; but gee it is close and I am truly happy and love life and all it has to offer.
Of course there have been tantrums, sadness and tears through this journey, and I guess also a path that needed to be taken in order to get to the place I am today. It is said that the most beautiful places in the world have the hardest paths. I believe this to be true…
I achieved a number of my Goals in 2017
- Achieved 65% in Preliminary Dressage – Achieved November 6, 2017
- Competed Novice Dressage and scored over 60% – Achieved November 6, 2017
- Completed my G-Level Dressage Judge Certificate – Achieved July 22, 2017
- Maintained my Health and Positive Attitude – All year long 🙂
I ended the end of the 2017 Season with setting more goals for 2018.
- Compete in the Twilight Series Dressage Competition Summerland Dressage Club (Achieved March 3, 2018)
- Compete at The Winter Dressage Spectacular held in Tamworth (I missed out on this one as Grafton Championships were on the same weekend!)
- Achieve 65% – 70% in Preliminary Dressage (Achieved April 7, 2018 – 65.9% and 68.4%)
- Win a Preliminary Dressage Championship or Reserve Championship
- Achieve 65% in Novice Dressage (Achieved October 6, 2018)
- Qualify for the Adult Amateur Owner Rider Championships (Qualified and competed on 14/15 September 2018)
- Compete at the Pan Pacific Masters Games (Entered and competing November 10/11 2018)
- Complete Level One Riding Certificate
I pride myself in a few things but here are a few tips for success:
Always remember to be your own biggest fan;
Never be jealous or ungrateful;
Learn, learn, Learn;
Don’t ever blame your horse. Fault lies with you. Always. End of Story.
Go for your dreams with all you’ve got!
No one else is going to get your goals and dreams for you.
Always remember that it is your responsibility to pave your way in this world.
If you need a better horse (and when I say better I mean better conformation or perhaps better suited to you) then train one or purchase one. If you need to be a better rider then train or save for lessons.
If you need a better car or a float, then find a job that can offer you the finances to do so.
And if you need help; don’t ever be afraid to ask! Pride and Ego will not get you anywhere in life.
And my best piece of advice “Stop making excuses”
Bring on 2018 and Forever !!!!!!!!!!
Happy Riding & Keep Smiling.
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