Amy takes reins on ‘green’ rides
TRAINING a horse to compete in showjumping is a challenge on which Amy Sanders thrives.
The Nanango Hack and Pony Club rider has a reputation for getting young ponies ready for the arena through her hard work in the saddle.
On Saturday the 17-year-old competitor was again taking the road less travelled for most pony club members, by riding a horse that had never jumped before.
"This is Champ and he is going pretty good so far," Sanders said.
"We've had Champ for two years now but he has only just been broken in. This is only his seventh ride."
Sanders said she enjoyed getting a new horse up to the standard required for show jumping, but it could be hard work.
"With him, you just have to push him along all the time because he doesn't know what he is doing out here," she said.
"He is what you call green, which means very young and no experience at all.
"So you have just got to use a lot of leg and just get him over the jumps."
Sanders said each horse had its own personality and training required different approaches.
"He is such a lazy horse so you've really got to push him out a bit to get him over those jumps," she said.
Riding "green" horses has proven to be a family affair for Amy, who lives on a large property in south-east Nanango.
"We've got, well I'm not game enough to say how many (horses) we have, there's that many," Sanders said.
"Which is not good in a drought, but Mum and Dad break some horses and we have a bit of a turnover.
"Dad does all the hard stuff and breaks them in and then we get them out and about.
"And when they are ready we sell them on."
Sanders said the hobby had been successful this year and they sold on their animals to young riders looking for horses comfortable at pony clubs and competition.
"This year we have done a few, we sold three in a month about a month ago, so that was really good," she said.
"It's just a bit of fun really."
On Saturday, Sanders and her pony Champ were learning some new tricks under the instruction of Hervey Bay equestrian trainer Lyndal Roos.
"I'm learning a bit today; it's good to do these sorts of things."
And Sanders was hoping extra training would come in handy for the new year.
"I went to State Dressage this year but I didn't come anywhere," she said.
"But it was a good experience and I'll go again next year when it's on."
Next year will be a busy one for Sanders, who is off to the University of Southern Queensland to study.
"I got guaranteed a spot at Toowoomba for primary school teaching," she said.
"I'll probably go out west to teach, not many people want to go out west.
"But I'm still doing pony club."