If you had asked me mid lockdown how was life, I would have said great. Covid-19 gave me a chance to slow down my pace of life, focus on my vege garden, cooking and fitness.
Coming to the end of the lockdown, however, due to Covid-19, I lost my job and I felt like a piece of me was broken. Working at Takapoto for me wasn’t just a job, it was a lifestyle, my passion, my sport and I lived and breathed the job. I got to work every day with an incredible team and sit on amazing horses. Everyday I was thankful for this dream job and I felt like the job defined who I was. So, the shock of hearing that the stable was downsizing and Sam was coming home hit me hard.
A fortnight later thanks to the incredible support from friends, husband and family I started to change my outlook, instead of being devastated to walk away, I’ve decided to be thankful for the experiences and opportunities that I have had. I’ve changed so much in three years and I am especially thankful to the development in my riding, thanks largely to riding great horses and the coaching I’ve received from Penny and Sam. I had never fully believed in my ability to ride at a high level and I never thought I could have achieved what I have with these horses. This job sparked a fire in me to ride my best and train harder. Walking away from the Takapoto horses will hurt the most. But I have my health, a supportive network and hopefully exciting things on the horizon.
I am not one to sit around and do nothing, so my over-active mind quickly went into overdrive and I started to plan my next step. In this current unpredictable Covid-19 world, I do not think it’s feasible to start up my own team of horses. So, my first step has been to relaunch and update my old website – it helps to have a husband who sets up websites (thanks Joel for the amazing job). I will firstly base my new business JT Equestrian around teaching and move back to Auckland to base myself there.
Joel and I have structured a new website where clients can learn about what I’m offering and also communicate upfront with me – their goals and what exactly what they want from me as a trainer. I will offer training tips for on-and-off the horse, with other professionals in the mix where required, and there will be a strong focus on health and wellbeing (an aspect of training I think a lot of riders overlook). I will offer lessons in Auckland, South Auckland and Cambridge each week.
I have also started a new agency to help people buy and sell horses. Overseas there are a lot of professional agents and in NZ there are only a small handful doing this work. Some professional riders act as an agent but it bothers me that sometimes this process is not very transparent. People do not always realise they are paying a commission, or how much the commission actually is. So, I want to make this process much more transparent and easier for clients.
Basically, if you are in the market to buy or sell a horse, I welcome you to jump onto one of my online forms and get started:
The form invites to provide all your details and what you are looking for in your next horse, or, in the event that you’re selling; provide all your horse’s details. I will endeavour to help you look for your horse/sell your horse. At this stage the process is free so buyers and sellers have nothing to lose. As an agent I can do as little, or as much as you want. Before I show a rider a horse, I will research the horse, talk to fellow riders and try to watch the horse at a few shows. I’ll ask all the necessary questions, if possible, I’ll sit on the horse myself, and then present this information to the potential buyer with videos.
All the hassle buying that comes with buying or selling a horse will be taken care of by me. This usually includes:
- Making a professional video to market your horse
- Setting up trials
- Sales agreements
- Insurance and transportation post sale
Once a horse sale is complete, there is a commission that gets paid to me and these details are explained further on my buying and selling pages. This whole process is a great way for people to get access to try horses before they hit the open market and for riders and studs to list horses with me (but not necessarily publicly listed – you choose). Basically, the horse is on my books, waiting for the right client with the right budget to come along.
I already have horses listed with me and I have buyers looking, please get in touch to list your horse or list what you are looking for.
So, life has changed a great deal for me due to Covid-19 and I can only hope that all things happen for a reason and that from this change more exciting things will come in the future. I will miss riding full time and I would love in the future to get back into riding competitively. But for now I will take a step back and try to help some of my clients’ dreams come true and hopefully I can get at least one unicorn myself to keep competing on the side.