Rider Stories – Jody Hartstone

Get to know our WENZ members in this feature news on rider stories.

This rider story features the well known equestrian coach and high level competitor Jody Hartstone from Hartstone Equestrian in Raglan. Jody travels to Portugal and has been lucky enough to have seen and even had lessons from some of the world’s best in the sport. Her goal is to ride at Masters level, which she is well on the way to seeing, and achieve wins.

Jody has praise for those who have been the founders of the sport in New Zealand. She says that it is not easy to get a new sport off the ground and running – but those involved are doing a great job! So thank you 🙂

If you are contemplating giving Working Equitation a go, Jody encourages you to come along and give it a go! She says that it is super challenging but in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere – you can’t help but fall in love!

My Working Equitation experience so far…

I first started dabbling in Working Equitation 7 years ago when I was first exposed to it in Portugal – when I get a chance to compete in NZ I enter the highest class there is available as my horse is trained to a high level.

My other equestrian interests are…

My background is in Dressage up to Grand Prix level but I loved pony club games as a kid and I also enjoy hunting each winter, so Working Equitation is a good blend of all my skills as a rider and allows my competitive nature a chance to shine!

My Equine Partner is…

a Lusitano – Ali Baba is my main WE horse. He was imported from Portugal as a 7 year old and had no WE experience prior to him coming here. Although he is far too tall to be totally made for the sport, his athleticism, speed, ability to collect and quick learning mind have made him an easy horse to train for the obstacles.

I got into Working Equitation because…

Whenever I make it to Portugal I love to watch the skills of the WE horsemen and women, but I am also drawn to the beauty and agility of the Lusitano horse. I love the challenge of training my Lusitano horses to be as good as the ones I have seen in Europe.

Working Equitation is helping us…

For me it gives me something to focus on as a rider. As a coach it has given me new tools and fun exercises to help both horse and rider become more aware and supple. For Ali Baba it gives him an opportunity for cross training and for our young Lusitanos it gives them focus and great learning.

Something I found surprising about Working Equitation was…

What I love about the sport here in NZ is the friendships and camaraderie being fostered between the riders. It is so refreshing to have a sport centered around the horse and the horse-human relationship… what all horse sports should be about but seldom are.

If you would like to participate in our rider stories feature, please contact notices@wenz.nz for more information.