I enjoyed a very “horsey” Southland upbringing and was involved in Pony Club and Showing from very young until age 14. The racing industry then became a major attraction, and from ages 15 to 18 I rode trackwork, and learned many skills as a stablehand. I initially worked for my mother, the late Mrs Gaynor Goble, one of the first professional women TB trainers in New Zealand, and later Brian Smith in Cambridge, of Balmerino fame. I represented Southland in the last “International Ladies Race Series” held in the Waikato just prior to women being approved as licensed jockeys.
From 1974 I worked as a veterinary nurse at the Waikiwi Vet Clinic in Invercargill for nearly 4 years. This was a fabulous grounding in animal health and medicines, and I consider myself fortunate to have worked with two exceptional horse vets in Micheal F. Brown and Peter Williams.
In 1979 came a lifestyle change when I, and partner Rick Stirling, purchased the Horse Trekking business in Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury. This was a great learning experience in dealing with people and horses from all walks of life, and to spend your work day riding in beautiful scenery and eating, sleeping and living horses was to say the least idyllic.
From 1989 to present day I have been a licenced Real Estate agent, selling property in the lovely area of Hanmer Springs. This makes a balanced life with my day generally being split between corporate and equine needs.
I have managed to fit in some competitive equestrian pursuits over the years, and have enjoyed much success at showjumping. A highlight being winning the NZ show jumping champs title 2009 in the 1.20 – 1.30m level on Spotswood, pictured top right… who sadly is now at 26 retired with sight problems.
Through Animal Therapies Unlimited, and my activities and successes in the horse world I hope to create a new awareness for horse owners as to what good equine health entails, and the more natural ways and means to achieve it.
I travel regularly in the North Canterbury area visiting clients horses with a wide range of problems. I also teach horse owners how to massage their own horses to improve their performance and comfort, and run 3 day certified Equine Touch clinics, which can lead students along the pathway of becoming equine therapists as a career choice.
I also regularly encourage students to come stay with me as working pupils and learn the hands on and practical aspects of rehabilitation work and many therapeutic modalities. I have enjoyed the company of some amazing and skilled students over the years, and keep in touch with them by email and facebook. Some are now practitioners in their own countries, or have gone on to successful competitive careers with horses.
This is a fun and hands on way to learn all the modalities, and we fit in plenty of outside riding activities for the students, with lovely forests at our doorstep and some competitions over summer for the more advanced riders.