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© 2020 by Young Dressage Association Inc.

MEMBER OF THE MONTH

Nicola Smith

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Tell us about your horse/s

I currently have 2 Partbred Connemara mares. Sugargum Blossom and Sugargum Uabba Fern who are actually full sisters. Both ponies were bred by the Sugargum Connemara Pony Stud born on Uabba Station at Lake Cargelligo. I have owned Blossom for 6 years and compete in a range of disciplines like dressage, jumping, team yarding and trail riding to name a few. She has been very successful in everything she does and has been named among the top five Performance Connemara Ponies of the Year for a few years now.
Fern is Blossom’s 6yo sister so has just started competing and coming out to events. We are very excited to see what her future holds.
For the last 2 years, in the Australian winter I have travelled to Alberta, Canada where I work at the Tim Horton Children's Ranch, a summer camp for poor and disadvantaged youth located in the Rocky Mountains. There, I am Head Wrangler where I work with a team of 65 horses who range from Clydesdales to quarter horses to Morgan’s and Arabs. They all have their own quirks and personalities and I love them all as if they were my own!

Tell us about yourself

I have been riding since before I could walk and have always been around horses. We joined Pony Club when I was about 5 or 6 years old and ever since I have been competing and riding in a range of disciplines. I enjoy all disciplines but my favourites would have to be dressage and eventing. Horse riding has led me to many amazing opportunities including being able to work overseas as Head Wrangler on the Tim Horton Children’s Ranch where I lead trail rides through the Rocky Mountains with youth from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds.

Why do you enjoy horses / riding / dressage?

I love riding horses for the freedom and the challenge it provides. I love seeing my horses progress and I love finding and learning new ways to teach them new things. I also enjoy the challenge and adrenaline of competing and how it always helps me see ways to be better. I also love the friends I have made through riding, many of my closest friends are people I have met through riding. Horses also provide me with a way to escape from anything that is going on and just love in the moment. There is nothing more grounding or stress relieving than riding on horse back through the Rocky Mountains.

Who inspires you in the equestrian world and why?

I think my biggest inspiration is Amberley Snyder. Despite being paralysed at the peak of her career she was able to find solutions and get back to the sport she loved most. I think her story is so inspiring and it shows that no matter what obstacles are in your way, you can do anything.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not with your horse/s?

I enjoy travelling, spending time with friends and reading. Since I’ve been in Canada I’ve done lots of hikes (including summitting some mountains), rock climbing and snowboarding.