Equitana Melbourne

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Amanda grew up helping her uncle break in Shetland’s and other cross-bred ponies. Receiving a 5-year-old Thoroughbred for her 13th birthday was the beginning of Amanda’s love affair for training horses.

At 18 years old Amanda worked for the Heath & Rozzie Ryan in Lochinvar. Achieving her NCAS Level 1 coaches accreditation at Lochinvar set her on a life long path. The one main benefit from Amanda’s 12 months at Lochinvar was learning to be a ‘thinking rider’. “We were encouraged to find a way to fix a problem, to watch, listen and learn from each other while developing our own skills and methods.”

On return to Victoria Amanda coached for a small riding school in Seville, worked for a Grand Prix showjumper, rode track work and coached children’s camps at the Victorian Equestrian Centre. While doing all of this she had approximately four horses in work, owning only the little TB she was now heading into 2* with. The other horses were clients who needed cross-training using jumping grids and poles, hill work or re-education for behavioural issues.

When the little TB injured himself in the paddock, Amanda gave up competing and coaching full time. Instead, seeking a secure career in the police force. Amanda’s love of training horses carried through her 8-year career in VicPol. She didn’t particularly want to compete anymore but maintained a passion for rehabilitating very broken horses and coached a loyal tribe of students. Amanda’s time in VicPol taught her how to be a better communicator and enhanced her observation skills. These two skills improved her ability as a coach, which started to get recognised amongst her equestrian peers. Amanda resigned from VicPol, returning to a career coaching and training full time, ten years ago. Helping equestrians improve and ride in harmony with their horses has become Amanda’s main objective as a coach.

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