WEC Riding School Resident Instructors:
Exciting News: WEC is proud to announce a new instructor in the Riding School. Robyn North is starting on the 18th of February. Robyn has a wealth of experience in Eventing, Show Jumping and dressage. A full profile of Robyn's achievements will be published early next week.
The Waikato Equestrian Centre Riding School is open to owner-riders floating in their horses or can provide safe and reliable horses for lessons. The Riding School caters for beginners through to the more advanced rider with instruction in jumping, dressage and cross-country.
DNA WELLS - Hamilton Group RDA
Robyn has in more recent times turned her Equine Interests into sharing what she has learnt with others and has particularly enjoyed developing her Coaching Skills thru both the NCPCA Coach workshops and the ESNZ Coach programme. As well as continuing to per sue improving her own riding skills by regularly attending clinics and training sessions with resident and visiting Coaches.
?I remember how much I enjoyed Pony Club as a young rider it was such a passion for me at that time and my love of horses and riding will be with me for life. I have come to realise that it is now much more difficult, for many children and adults to have the opportunity of learning to ride and bond with a beautiful horse. If I can share this passion with others and they get to experience at least a little of what I have been privileged to have in my life, then I feel I have shared something very special indeed.?
We are happy to introduce Diane Gilder as a part of the team at the Waikato Equestrian Centre Riding School. Diane is teaching on Saturdays and some weekday evenings, she is also working in the yard during the week. Having shown a great interest in horses from an early age, Diane started riding lessons at Horsepitality Riding Lodge - working weekends and school holidays, living and tutoring at the Lodge. Whilst riding here, Diane attended Papakura and Hunua Pony Clubs where she progressed through the grades to A Certificate.
After completing 7th form at Baradene College Auckland where she was captain of the equestrian team, Diane went on to Wintec Equestrian Education Centre, achieving Best Student Award 2005 in Sport Horse and Community Coach Certificates.
As part of the course, the students were given work experience at various stables. Diane was fortunate enough to work with Blyth Tait and Paul O'Brien at Chesterfields, and then Allan and Lynda Jones at Sommerveld Racing Stables. Upon completing the course at Wintec, Diane was offered a position at Sommerveld Stables in Cambridge working with race horses, trialing horses, broodmares, foals and preparing horses for sale to both the National and International markets. Diane was promoted to foreman in April 2006. This position included sole charge management of the Stables as Allan and Lynda spent the winter months training in Australia. Duties included monitoring the health and fitness of the horses along with the everyday running of the stables, the organisation of staff, feed, farriers, vets, race and trial days, transport etc.
In April 2008 having been offered the opportunity to go to Australia as a working student for international eventers Blair Richardson and Nicky Bishop, Diane took her horse "Foreal". Over a period of four years progressed him from Pre Novice to 3*** competing at all the major One Day Events and Three Day Events around Australia, achieving 12th at CCI2** Sydney International 3DE 2010, 16th at CCI2** Australian International 3DE in Adelaide 2009, CCI2** Melbourne 3DE 2010.
Whilst in Australia, Diane purchased another young horse "Your Attorney" and took him from Intro to 2** in three years. He also competed around Australia. Some of his highlights were 5th at CCI1* Queensland International 3DE 2011, completing CCI2* Adelaide Australian International 3DE as a 6/7 year old and 9th at CCI2* Melbourne International 3DE as a 7 year old in 2012. Diane has been lucky enough to bring "Your Attorney" home to NZ and is now looking forward to competing with him in New Zealand.
Working and competing in Australia for 4 years has gained her a wealth of experience and knowledge. Diane is a keen eventer and an enthusiastic tutor with skills and knowledge in every aspect of horse riding and welfare that she is looking forward to passing on to students.
RDA Program co-ordinator &
Dressage & Showjumping tuition
I have now held the position of Riding for the Disabled (RDA) co-ordinator for a little over one year and must say I enjoy it, and have learnt a lot. When I first started we were riding 56 children from the Hamilton North School, we now have 78 children and 7 Adult students. This keeps me very busy. We have increased our days of riding to, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 9 -12. My job would not be as successful if it was not for my great team of volunteers, a very big thank you to them and as always, more volunteers are needed.
When I was first approached about this position as Program co-ordinator, I had no idea what was involved and whether my previous experience was enough. Yes, I am a qualified teacher and instructor and had just finished 4 years of tutoring the Certificate in Equine Studies at the Waikato Institute of Technology. Yes, I am a capable horse rider and have been teaching people to ride for many years. No, I have had no experience working with children with disabilities. So I asked myself, how different could it be? The answer was so easy, no different, just get out there and teach them how to ride.
Over the last year I have attended courses and training programs and are 2 unit standards away from completing my RDA Level 3 Instructors Certificate. Along with the knowledge I have learnt for the courses and using my own teaching style I believe that we are delivering a very successful riding program. Our aim is to increase confidence and independence, also to use the horse to increase muscle strength and toning. Working with the therapies, we together set goals for each student. The therapies knows which muscle groups or what can't be done with that student and I set a riding plan accordingly. The results of this method are great, we have received wonderful feedback from the parents, the staff and the school principal who has incorporated horse riding as a subject in their teaching plan. You just have to watch the students to see improvement. I now have two groups that can ride independently at work and trot, and a few have been cantering. This is a very rewarding job.
Dna's life with horses....
Dna began riding at the age of 2 and went to her first show at the age of 4. Trained by her mother, Ona Wells, who was a New Zealand Show Jumping representative. "Living in Kaitaia and having two very supportive parents and lots of great help gave me the best start to riding possible. There was a very competitive show and show jumping circuit up there. With all those beautiful big hills to get your horses fit and lots of natural jumps - drains, logs, gates, troughs, etc, laying around, I soon became very confident on my ponies".
At the age of 15, Dna competed at her first 3 Day Event and then was hooked on the sport. At 18, Auckland businessman Peter Tatham quickly recognised Dna's talent and approached her, offering to buy her an Advanced Event horse and to support her in her quest to be a NZ representative. At this stage Quest was purchased for her. Then at age 20 Dna moved to Auckland to manage farms for Peter Tatham and surround herself with top class instructors.
Meanwhile, Dna graduated from Intermediate to Advanced and was selected to represent New Zealand at the age of 22 in the NZ 3 Day Event Team 1993 & 1994. Quest was later sold and with Peter Tathams on going support and help, along with her parents support and help, Dna began riding an inexperienced Bravo, whom she trained up to Advanced. Unfortunately, Bravo died of a heart attack before being able to compete in America.
Dna then took some time to travel, before returning to New Zealand to work as a Tutor for the Waikato Institute of Technology. Dna tutored students in Jumping and happily assisted them with Dressage as well as providing useful information. For the first time in years, all of the students who chose the Show Jumping module, passed. One of her students, Melia Kape, who rode a green horse and with little jumping experience, credits her passing of Show Jumping to Dna and her teaching skills. Dna was not only liked by all students, but excelled in teaching, and always managed to provide a challenging experience for all. Dna also ran adult riding courses at the end of the semester and the classes were always full with satisfied customers.
Anyone interested in lesson with Dna can contact her on:
Mob: 027 542 6732
Any one interested in our RDA riding program or if you would like to volunteer please contact me on 027 542 6732
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- Instructors are welcome to teach on the WEC grounds.
- All instructors must be WEC members. i.e. at least non riding membership = $40/yr.
- They may use the cross country, practice jumps and PVC arena and sand arenas. Check to ensure they have not been booked. It is the responsibility of the Instructor to contact the Centre to check availability of facilities. Ph 849 6756
- Pupils must either be WEC members or have paid the $20 ground fee at the Riding School prior to riding.
- If an instructor wishes to advertise on the WEC website it is $50/month and the ad will also be included in the WEC newsletter.
- Any instructor that begins to impede other members from using the facilities will be required to book and hire an area and equipment.
- Book and hire an area and equipment if you would like exclusive use. Contact the WEC Riding School for prices.