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!
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 will be 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 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.
In 2009 some friends took me to the Sydney CDI and overnight I was hooked on Dressage!
I realised I needed a Dressage horse, but I didn’t have any money to purchase one, 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 was lucky enough to be able to purchase my first float in September 2012. 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.
Because of my PTSD, I didn’t have a lot of time to train him, 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. You can ride him everyday or once every two months and he is the same well behaved horse you rode last time. He is my unicorn!
He competed in Walk & Trot tests with each outing improving from the one previous. He has tried his hand at Working Equitation and is about to begin Preliminary Dressage this year.
The future looks bright no matter where the road leads us.
It took 3 years for the Canter lead to become established but Freddy and I are on the road to success!
The first two years was not only training of Freddy, but also training of myself. I read every book and watched every video I could find; searching for ways to have a balanced and straight horse. I spent money on lessons, entered Walk & Trot tests and honed my skills in my horsemanship.
I am rather persistent when I put my mind to something I want and I was not giving up on this horse.
It was in this 3 year period that I completed my EA NCAS Introductory Coaching Certificate and I also became an official Dressage Judge.
I started a Neuro-Linguistics Programming course and was treated for PTSD.
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.
I began my EA Level One Coaching Certificate and I moved up a grade in Dressage.
Things were all starting to come together.
There have been tantrums and tears but lately it’s all just smiles!
It’s a time now for setting more goals and getting on with achieving them.
Always remember to be your own biggest fan, never be jealous or ungrateful and go for your dreams with all you’ve got!
No one else is going to get your goals for you.
Bring on the rest of 2017!!!!!!!!!!
Happy Riding & Keep Smiling. Mel x
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