I have a great support team, that I couldn't ride, let alone compete without!
I would be completely buggered without the amazing support I receive from my husband Aaron, admittedly i do have to do housework and wash and iron all his clothes in return, but its a small price to pay for having someone to most importantly saddle Mask up and get me on the horse! Aaron is also a great tinkerer, who has made all sorts of tasks much easier for me, including modifying the gear shift on the quad bike so i can feed out and designing a buggy so i can drive out to the paddock rather than push. He's also great for emptying the wheelbarrow (and mucking out) and does all the heavy lifting of feed and hay. I wouldnt be without him.
There are also a number of key people who keep Mask, Don & I ticking throughout the year:
Hannah & Louise at Head 2 Toe Studio Massage Therapy - generous sponsors of Team Gundog. These lovely ladies keep my overworked muscles in a functioning state and are a key part of ensuring I can ride well every time. Check out their website http://www.head2toe.co.nz/
Debbie Rolmanis - DB Muscle Therapy - another generous sponsor of Team Gundog! Debbie looks after all of Mask's muscular requirements and ensures he is in tip top physical condition ready to give his best every day. Debbie is also a key member of my 'big show' support team keeping both horse & rider ship shape when we are away from home. check out Debbie's website http://www.dbmuscletherapy.com/
Brent Jury - Striding Edge Horse Shoeing - always ensuring that all of my horses feet are in great shape. Thanks BJ!
Rangiora Veterinary Centre - taking great care of all of our animals year round.
Dr Joy White, Select Health - for the best Chiropractic care for horse and rider.
The Fur Family
Frank has been part of the family since he was 5 years old, some 16 years ago. He is an Appaloosa/Thoroughbred, now 21 years old whose main claim to fame was being a toad. Frank and I mostly competed in Eventing and Show Jumping, the highlight of which was the South Island 3 Day Event in 2003. Frank is still used for pony rides, and i drag him out of the paddock occasionally for a ride, and my sister often comes and rides him.
He is also the horse who I had my accident with, and has changed from a often bulshy toad into a generally very well behaved bloke, for me anyway! He has really looked after me since my accident and allowed me to get the hang of riding again, depsite probably wondering what i was doing at times.
Shelyron Goldstein (Garth)
Garth is a 6 year old Shetland, by Costwold Muskateer, out of Saltaire Felicity. He was bred by my great friend Lydia Reynolds and joined the family at 6 months old. His main task in life was to keep Frank company when Mask goes to shows, but he is a real character on his own, and has that typical 'small man's syndrome'. Garth is learning to do pony rides and I hope to put him in harness one day soon. He also goes to the odd show, highlight so far was at the Shetland Pony Breeders Show in 2010 where he was Reserve Champion Youngstock Gelding. I was so proud.
We also have 3 wonderful boys who love to help around the farm:
King of the property, Jack has been part of our family for 11 years, and is in charge of everything. He has moved to Wellington and back, and even spent 3 months in a cattery while i was in the Burwood Spinal Unit, coming to visit me each week. He is my best buddy and often comes out to the paddocks or barn to help. Sadly we lost Jack in April 2014, he now has pride of place on the front lawn under a lovely magnolia tree. RIP wee buddy.
Diesel (tri colour)
Jack's 2 I C, Diesel came to us 7 years ago, via a trade me ad from the local vet. Aaron had been wanting a dog, and it was love at first sight, although the D we have now is vastly different to the scrawny dog he was. He looks pretty fierce but is really a big marshmallow, who loves to sleep inside on his bed, and swim at the river. He isnt scared of much, except Jack when he chases him.
Rufus (black & white)
Rufy is another rescue dog, that we found at Dogwatch (http://www.dogwatch.co.nz/) he was around 1 year old when we adopted him, and is a beardie cross. He is another real character, addicted to tennis balls and will spend all day chasing after them. He also loves to tease Diesel, and dabbles in a bit of gardening, much to my dismay! He is a bit of a grub often rolling in smelly things, but has recently taken to swimming in his pool particularly after (or during) an arduous tennis ball chasing session so he is much fresher smelling these days.
The newest recruit, Slade was adopted from the SPCA when the silence in the house became unbearable after losing Jack. He is quite a character! His initial timidness was soon forgotten and he is now busy bossing the dogs around and getting up to all sorts of shenanigans while we are away at work.