A True Love for Horses

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jules' success in bringing dressage horses from start to finish is due to more than sheer talent, it's also due to the bond she creates with each horse. Regardless of breed or pedigree, Jules loves them all. "I truly do love all the horses I ride each day, which makes my busy day-to-day routine possible and rewarding," she said. She grew up in Australia as a Pony Clubber riding about bareback, chasing cows and barrel racing.

"As kids, we got tossed quite a bit, but we would get an ice cream from mum for getting back up into the saddle. I definitely believe 'the horse' is our greatest teacher and I was privileged to have many equine friends while growing up – kind Pepper who died on my birthday; rough and tumble Tuffy, who ditched me for fun every day; terrific Marco Polo who could jump his own height; Blue who taught me respect and timing of the aids or else!; opinionated Flicka who taught me perseverance and anger control; lovely Eclipse who taught me the feel of a swinging, elastic back; gentle Jefferson who was horse size and taught me the beginnings of lateral work and flying changes; dynamic Checkmate who excelled in every discipline and finally cute Cinnamon and Cardamom who my sister and I backed and sold to identical twins. What an opportunity I have had, to have fun and learn aboard these great teachers, while consistently placing in the national dressage, jumping and eventing competitions organized through the Pony Club," Jules said.

It was actually in eventing that Jules got her start as a competitive rider. "As a teenager, eventing became my discipline of choice, because of a wonderful horse called Coppertop. He was very brave except when it came to jumping into water and sometimes I had to hope I was far enough ahead in the dressage to afford a possible stop, consequently, my dressage got pretty good," Jules said. She and Coppertop placed in two National Pony Club Eventing Championships.

The move toward dressage came for Jules when her mother allowed her to compete her Grand Prix horse Rivoli Majestic. "He was a handsome, black Australian stock horse whose career, until he met my mother, was playing polo. Three years later he was one of the best Grand Prix horses in Australia," Jules said. With Rivoli, Jules went on to become one of Australia's youngest Grand Prix riders. Thanks to her mother, during that time Jules also had the opportunity to learn from such great trainers as Rosemary Springer, Karl Mikolka, Christopher Bartle and Clemens Dierks.