Bring on 2019

Hey everyone,

2018 has had its ups and downs I think for us all πŸ€”

I never talk of my downs so let’s just leave it at that. Better to focus on the positives in life..

Each year around this time I start to plan the following year; horse riding goals, personal goals, professional goals and a wish list. I buy a diary and I spend New Years Eve with a glass of wine and a pen….

My plan for the last couple of months has been to sell Moo and focus purely on Dressage with my new boy. He is trained to Elementary but he needs a little tweaking and a bit of fixing. I have pulled him back to Preliminary for the end of 2018 to get some judges perspectives and now I can retrain.

I have a wonderful coach who understands biomechanics and the training scale and also that each horse may need to be trained differently depending on their needs; I am in good hands.

The goal is to be competing Novice and scoring well by middle of 2019 and then I’ve left the goal list open to see where this river runs to.

Back to Moo…

So the goal was to sell him, it’s super hard though to sell a horse that has done nothing wrong, loves you and takes care of you when you are riding and seems to always be willing to try anything.

I have been told to push him towards jumping as he seems to enjoy it. His dressage is pretty amazing and he is doing well; but when he jumps he just loves it, I can tell. And I always want my horses to be happy.

Moo and I have accomplished more than I ever thought we would and I have a box of ribbons because of him. I qualified and competed at Amateur Champs and he has provided me with so many smiles and “firsts” along the way.

Yesterday I thought I might just take him for a little jump over some small logs… and so here is how it started…

And then I thought why don’t I try the next ones…

And here’s a little step

And then hmm maybe some bigger ones…

My friend was with me and she is bold and young so she has a go and took him over some more big ones…

So I’m thinking I do have an eventer on my hands…

Fitness training will start in December and I am looking for an event in early 2019.

I’m grateful for so many things in my life and sometimes I think it’s easy to forget what I do have and be upset about what I don’t have.

So today I am focusing on what I do have and the hopes and dreams I have for next year.

Have a lovely December everyone

Mel x

Find your Inner Swan

Hey Everyone,


A couple of days ago someone I work with was on a bit of a downer so I drew a picture and put it on the board for them to see the next morning in the hope to brighten their day.

I wrote “Find your inner Swan” next to it.

At the time I thought it would simply remind them that everyone, even if they feel like a duckling (ugly or not), you can always choose to be a swan; you can always feel like a swan and act like a swan no matter what. The message is simple in the ugly duckling story; you are not what others perceive you to be.

The more I look at the picture when I walk into work the more I realise that it’s a message we should all take on board, especially me.

Sometimes, we see ourselves as Swans and at other times the Duckling (ugly or not).

Sometimes we all limit ourselves to what others see us as, or even what we may perceive ourselves to be.

Sometimes being brave is simply living your life and reaching your goals despite the background noise.

I drew this as a first draft and realise the look I put on the ducklings face. It is a look of complete and utter indifference to what others may believe about him. It is also a complete look of indifference to his reflection. In his mind, he is a Swan.

Last night I sat down to start to think about my 2019 goals and for the first time in years I stalled and stumbled. When I wrote down my 2017 and 2018 goals I felt as the duckling; like I was dreaming I could ever be a swan, that I was kidding myself that I could accomplish any of these dreams and goals of mine; but I did.

Was it because I was always a Swan or was it because I refused to be the duckling? I don’t know the answer to that.

I believe we all have self doubt, especially in the realm of sport and success. We put a great deal on the line to do this and there are only ever a handful that make it to the podium at the Olympics and have a medal around their neck.

Will I be one of the few? Who knows, maybe. Maybe not.

But the fear of failing or not achieving my goals will never make me stop dreaming or reaching for the stars.

What I do know is that I am a Swan and long may it continue.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x





Jacaranda & Mental Health Awareness Dressage Day

Hi Everyone,

My new horse, Costa and I attended the Jacaranda & Mental Health Awareness Dressage Day on November 4, 2018.

I had only been riding him for a few weeks but the relationship is gelling nicely, after a bit of a stop-start at the beginning and things are as they should be.

He is a lovely and well bred steed and he has a funny personality that is starting to show and I am really enjoying getting to know him and also that he has a little bit of a funny side! Just like Freddy, he likes to grab buckets and caps and play with them and I am so enjoying this time. As I always say “Life is for the living”

It was pretty hot on the Sunday. I was judging the Preparatory Dressage in the morning and it was so nice to see everyone in either their purple for Jacaranda or their multi-colour for Mental Health!

I took it quite easy on him due to the heat in the warm up for the Novice 2:2. I had never ridden this test before and never competed on Costa before, so why not just jump in and see what happens!

See below for a middle morning update!

We then rode the Preliminary 1:1 and the 1:2.

We won the Preliminary 1:1 on a score of 67.72%, I was so shocked, because I didn’t think it rode well; but it must have πŸ™‚

We rode the Preliminary 1:2 and I made a course error, how?? I will never know. I have never made a course error, but there I was riding the best test and I just added a Preliminary circle at A!! I blew it. I would have gone on to get a 68% or thereabouts and instead came 6th. I won’t do that again will I!! silly Mel

Anyway it was a great day and I am super happy…

Here is a end of day Vlog…

Wherever you are in the world I hope you are smiling..

We are off to the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast tomorrow and I am so excited. Nervous and excited!

This is a 2018 goal of mine and I am so happy to be able to go.

Mel x

Power of Pink 2018

Hey Everyone,

Mr Potato Head and I ventured to the Tweed Valley Equestrian Group Power of Pink Dressage day for 2018.

We went last year and loved it so much we decided to go back.

Throw back Thursday coming up ! Β 


This is from last year. Ah I love this picture, he was painted with pink paint on his socks and had crepe paper all over him!

We ended up winning the Pinkest horse of the dayΒ in 2017 but came home outside of the places in the Preliminary Dressage.

I didn’t really ride well enough and Moo just wasn’t quite settled enough last year into this whole dressage game.

Being an OTTB would be hard and I am so proud of him from transforming from a race horse into a sure footed and trusty competition partner in the dressage arena.

This year was fantastic and even though it was raining on and off, Moo and I and a bunch of other competitors went out to support a good cause. The club announced that this marked the 10 year Anniversary of holding this event and through these days they have raised over $100,000 toward Breast Cancer Research.

Claps all round to the Committee, Volunteers and the Judges that donated there time for this event. Β I have put my hand up to volunteer next year, it’s lovely to ride but even better to be able to help.

I decided to enter Moo into the show jumping. He has been going super and we have been at 50cm for a while as he has been working out his feet and legs and balance over a fence. I have been waiting for Moo to feel that it is time to go up a little and although I have been encouraging him, I do not want to force him. I want him to choose to jump and do it boldly and willingly.

I put him in the 40cm and we trotted the first round. He was quite happy with that and we went clear and into a jump off which we subsequently won and Moo received his first ribbon in show jumping!

There was no 50cm at this event so I decided to enter him into the 60cm to see what happened. Well, clearly Moo is ready to rock’n’roll because he sailed over all of them except for one (yes, it was my mistake) and we ended up in a nice fifth place.


I could not wipe the smile from my face.

See evidence ! πŸ™‚

We decided to give the Novice 2:1 a try, in the past we have scored a 59.9% and a 61.1% and a 2018 goal of mine was to crack 65% in Novice.

It isn’t an easy ask but I gave it my best shot and in the slight rain my beautiful hippo went on to score a personal best of 65.18% and earn us a fifth place against some pretty lovely combinations.

I was and am so happy! Days later I am still smiling πŸ™‚

Blue Ribbon Photography has blessed me with this beautiful picture to keep and I plan to have this one blown up and put on the wall.


I drove home with a sound horse, a few ribbons and a wonderful day riding for a good cause.

Days don’t get much better than that.

Wherever you are in the world I hope you are smiling.

Mel x



Goal Setting the Mel way…

Hey Everyone,

I have now added a page on my site about Goal Setting.

I never realised how important Goal Setting was, not just for riding, but for all parts of my life. I’ve always had “plans”, but plans and goals are so different.

In the last 8 months I have realised there are always days that are harder than others, always things that will trip you up or get in your way and always an excuse to do nothing about either of them and lay on the floor and cry. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t thought of the last one more than once!

But every now and again, even amongst hard moments you can still stay the course and achieve your goals, whether they are big or small matters not; it is the doing that counts.

I have coined a few quotes this year:

“Make Time; Not Excuses”

“Live with Fear or Face your Fear; you can’t have both”

Writing down quotes is easy, living by them is the tough ask, but you can if you remind yourself every day that you are awesome and that the life you want is right there, just go and get it.

Studying why we set goals and how to turn dreams into plans is the mindset change that started this journey for me. It is so important to realise what part of your brain you need to set and achieve goals, and how you must have a focus and stay the course. Find your own True North and never deviate from this path.

I almost feel as if I had been treading water up until 2016, not living to my full potential and not pushing myself to a place that was way out of my comfort zone.

Doing this has not meant that I suddenly am selected for the Australian Olympic Team. It means that I am closer to that dream than I was when I hadn’t started. Maybe I will get there, maybe not, but that is not the dream nor the goal.

The goal is to improve each day, be a better person, a better rider, a better friend and a better partner to my furry hippo’s who bring me so much joy. The riding goals are set to keep building on top of each other and pushing me to do things I would not normally do and eventually who knows what will be in my future. I just keep finding things that I haven’t done and I would like to do. This year is the Championships in September, next year is the CDI, I just keep on keeping on.

Last night I entered a Championship event coming up. I missed out last year but I qualified finally for this. Another goal ticked off.

It is now up to the balloting and the committee to decide if I can compete and I await that, but that doesn’t mean I did not reach my goal; the goal was to qualify.

I guess that is the reminder also, you can’t set goals that rely on others to achieve them!

I know that this is the biggest event Moo and I have been too and I am not sure how either of us will handle it, but what I do know is that we will be side by side and we will have a ball! The rest is a bonus. I trust myself though, that I can do this and I trust Moo with my life. Surely that will see us come out of it successfully. There is 40 riders in each class, normally I aim for a top 10 finish and it will be no different here.

Wherever you are today, grab a journal and write down five things you always have wanted to do and go do them.

~ A good life happens by choice; not by chance.

Onward and Upward.

Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x



Grafton Championships & an update

Hey Everyone,

The Grafton Riding Club Championships were something I had been looking forward to since my last Competition in April. Moo has been training super and his last competition was excellent so I was starting to feel that I may be in for a good weekend.


A lot has changed since April. I have moved the horses to their new home in New Italy. To see my new home visit the Facebook page Northern Rivers Equestrian Centre!

I am super lucky to have the facilities I have always dreamed of and my old retired boy Billy has his forever home now.FullSizeRender1

Life is good πŸ™‚

I also am now fortunate enough to own a new horse, a beautiful Warmblood no less who is sired by San Rubin II and is a cool and calm fellow. He is 16.3hh, black and majestic and is currently competing Novice and Elementary.

His name is Costa, but to me he is perfect so I have called him Mr Perfect.Β IMG_5146

My beautiful Mr Perfect (San Costa WD) was to be ridden by his former owner for this event in the Novice and Elementary Championships.Β Don’t they look a treat !IMG_5237





I had my focuses on the Preliminary Championship and after our awesome scores of 68% and 65% in April I was pretty sure there would be a Rosette with my name on it.


However it was not to be, Moo just wasn’t in the game this weekend. I couldn’t work it out, I tried everything and it didn’t work. I was pretty upset. I later found out that his feed had been changed and he was high on life and sugar! He also had to travel with Costa, rather than usually alone, so there were a few differing factors that didn’t put us in the position for a successful weekend. Live and learn I guess.

The new float that I purchased is a total set up and I love it. It has a microwave and power points, a fridge, a cupboard for my things, a rug box, a swinging tack box and it is a two horse angle. It even has room for a shower!!


As I was there with my Bucky Rose and my heater I barely knew myself, it’s pretty good and it’s been a long time coming. I smile.


The horses were in bed and snuggly. πŸ™‚ I checked on them at 8pm and midnight before finally resting.



Next morning Bucky and I were up early and he was helping mummy feed the horses. Β He’s a good boy and it had been far too long since we had been to a show together. I had missed him.

It was an awesome two days, I got to compete and spend time with my Bucky and I got to catch up with friends, so all in all it was a good time, despite not winning a single ribbon!

Costa went super in the Novice 2:2 and 2:3 with some scores of 64% and 63% and scoring two fifth places. He went wonderful in the Elementary on the Sunday and even though he was out of the ribbons I couldn’t have been prouder of him.

The other highlight of the weekend was catching up with Nathan Harvey, a super nice person and his horse Dom who is just everything you would expect a black stallion to be!

We are Β both super lucky to be sponsored by Peter Williams Riding Apparel and they have such wonderful products! Go check it out at

That’s it from me,,, Happy Riding & Keep Smiling

Mel x