Home' Horse Deals Magazine : Horse Deals January 2015 Contents This month we share the story of a hospitality
worker who always wanted her own horse. At
23, her dream has finally come true. This is
Ever since Kim can remember, she has loved horses. She can’t
remember a time that she didn’t want a horse, and began her very
limited riding career on an ex-racehorse that was agisted on her family’s
At the age of six, Kim was being put in the saddle and told one rein for
left, one rein for right, and both reins for stop. And a couple of years later
when the family moved into town, that was it.
Up until she discovered Byalee, Kim bludged a ride wherever she could
get it, riding friends’ horses or going trail riding.
‘I rode anything and everything that would allow me to put a saddle on,
it never used to bother me if a horse bucked or shied or pigrooted, I
was like, get over it, until the day I fell off and then my confidence took
a massive blow,’ she recalled. ‘I realised I wasn’t indestructible, I was
17, and it hit me hard. I didn’t get on for another 12 months and then I
bought my first horse without looking into it properly – he was way, way
above my capabilities.
‘I think he was a stockhorse x warmblood and he hadn’t had any
discipline or anything. He was very pigheaded and knew I wasn’t
confident so he would kick at me and bite me. When I was riding him
he wouldn’t listen to me, bolted on me a few times, and my ego took an
even bigger blow. I only had him for three or four months.’
It wasn’t until years later, when Kim’s mother became bookkeeper at
Byalee, that she heard about the possibility of lessons for riders lacking
‘The fall I had really did it for me,’ she said. ‘I only ever fell off that once.
I was at a trail riding place with a friend who worked there and neither
of us checked my girth - halfway through the ride the saddle slipped. I
didn’t have a helmet on and tried to protect my head as I fell, so I ended
up with a shattered and dislocated elbow, broken arm and fractured
‘So when I first came to Byalee I was very, VERY nervous - like a horse
twitched and I thought it was going to kick me,’ she said. ‘It was quite
upsetting because I had been so confident before, and in the saddle I
was even worse. I would get on and feel like I didn’t have any control at
all. Even though I was on Molly, who I knew was super quiet, it was really
scary for me to try and do things that I hadn’t done in a few years.
‘But the first lesson on Molly was great. By the end of it I felt so proud
of myself for getting in there and doing it and for not falling off (laughs). I
walked away feeling like I was on cloud nine, it was amazing.
‘I basically fell in love with the fact that I could ride again and tried to
make it to lessons as often as I could.
‘Now, I am a helluva lot more confident, not scared to get on, to be
around them, though I still have my moments where they kick at a fly and
I have a little bit of a heart attack. I am still not where I was, but definitely
‘I’ve ridden so many different horses at Byalee, even bareback at trot and
canter (if they have a flat wither!) in an open space without worrying.’
After about six months at Byalee, Kim took on riding someone else’s
clydie cross, which was really quiet until she had her first rodeo ride
‘I was riding him down the road and a horse came running up to the
fence,’ she said. ‘He started bucking and I was quite impressed that I
stayed in the saddle, I survived, and it boosted my confidence a little
Then, 12 months ago, Kim was given the opportunity to start working
with appaloosa quarterhorses for an old chap that hadn’t ridden any of
them for years. One called Zippo captured her heart.
‘He had a nice easy-going temperament, and constant lessons and
guidance from Byalee built my confidence to the point where I feel that I
can ride a horse that hasn’t been ridden for a while,’ she explained. ‘We
haven’t looked back’.
Kim got a towbar on her fiancé’s ute, and began hiring a horse float so
that she could start bringing Zippo to her lessons. After completing a
Certificate II in Animal Studies at Taronga Zoo, she began a Certificate III
in Horsemanship and bought her own horse float.
‘Having my confidence back and having a float just opened so many
more doors,’ Kim said. ‘I went gradually, started off taking him to Byalee
to get used to being somewhere different, because he had never been
off the property he was on, and then brought him for lessons. After six
months or so I took him to the Certificate III clinics and I was actually
pleasantly surprised at how well he behaved.’
‘I am a helluva lot more confident, not scared to get on, to be around
them,’ she smiled, ‘though I still have my moments when they kick at a
fly and I have a little bit of a heart attack. I am still not where I was, and
still not where I want to be, but I am a lot more confident and making
‘I’m hoping in the next year or two to apply for the police force and
eventually get into the mounted police – and then who knows where I
would go with that!’
Ann-Maree Lourey 0407 453 494
Byalee... achieving the dream for more than quarter of a century
Psyched for SUCCESS
by Ann-Maree Lourey NCAS Level III Dressage, Dip Sports Psychology
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