My name is Alyssa Hughes and i am the writer of this blog series and one of Forest Park Riding School's Little League intstructors. This post is written to let you know a bit more about my own equestrian journey and why i became a horse riding instructor.
I started riding at a very young age, and have loved every minute of it. I have so many wonderful memories of horses and Forest Park Riding School is in nearly all of them. My parents Grant and Heather Hughes have run Forest Park for many years and i have been lucky enough to be a part of this equestrian community. I started riding both under the supervision and instruction of my parents, but also participated in Little League myself when i was very young.
I have fond memories and it was definitely a great social way to enjoy the company of other children who love horses. I then continued to participate in both private lessons with my parents and older sister Emma, but also participated in term classes when i was in primary school and early high school. These were great fun and i enjoyed the company of other children with similar interests.
Over the last few years i have recieved riding instruction mainly from my parents and older sister Emma, who are all instructors. I also have riding lessons and attend clinics from other instructors that teach showjumping and dressage. I have viewed some extraordinary athletes, including my family, and aspire to one day ride to a similar standard.
I have had the privelage to own many different ponies and horses in the past. All of these horses have shaped me to be the rider i am today. I have learnt different skills from them all. I believe horses are beautiful, peaceful and pure animals. I like to treat all of them as if they are part of my family. I view riding a horse as a relationship. A horse will only give to the rider if the rider gives to the horse. You must earn their respect and trust. Currently i ride 5 beautiful horses.
Emmaville Pearl is a very special horse for me. I have ridden her for about 2 years and have learnt so much. She is a Welsh Cob and the greatest lesson i have learnt from her is trust. She must put her trust in me and i in her. Pearl is well educated and has taught me a lot in dressage, but is also great fun to jump and compete in showing. She is definitely has the most beautiful personality of any horse i have met. Pearl is currently in foal and I am very excited! Emmaville Pine (Perry) is a horse i have owned for less than a year. Perry is a thoroughbred off the track. I have also formed a wonderful bond with him. He is bold and willing to learn. Perry is a show jumper for the future and i am so excited to begin my jouney with him.
Emmaville Vertigo (Morgan) is the new addition to our team. Morgan is a cute Clydiexthoroughbred who has a natural talent and willingness for showjumping. He is a stunning bay horse who is about 15.3hh, but has a heart of gold.
Emmaville Merlin is a pony whom i have broken in and trained myself (with the help of my family). Merlin is a bay welsh pony and i hope to produce him to competition standard and sell him on as a pony club mount. Blackall Park Atlantis is our family's beautiful A grade showjumper. Tommy mainly competes with my father Grant Hughes in Grand Prix Showjumping Events. I have been very lucky to be able to compete on Tommy in showjumping and dressage. Tommy is a very special horse and i have learnt a lot from him over the years.
Other horses i have ridden in the past include Wallaroo Circus (Wally), Emmaville Charisma (Cloe), Bamborough Domino (Bruce), Ladys First (Bella), Rodello Bobby Dazzler (Bobby), Carmen and Care Factor Zero (Harry). These horses and many others have all given me a lot of experience.
I have had many riding achievements over the years that i have been competitng. However, to me, my greatest achievement is learning, having fun and improving. When I compete, whether it be in showjumping, dressage or showing, if i enjoy it, are safe and learn something, i have achieved. I believe that winning or recieving a prize is great, but not the reason that i ride.
5 Facts about your instructor:
Favourite Discipline: Showjumping, dressage and showing. I love them all Favorite place to ride: I love going for a nice walk in the park on my horses Favorite Competition: I have many favourite competitions. I loved the relaxed atmosphere at Griffith Show, the jumping at NSW Showjumping Championships at Bororowa in 2014 and competing at Canberra Royal Show in the hacking. Greatest Achievement: Probably winning Champion Ridden Welsh @ Canberra Royal Show in 2015 on my beautiful horse Pearl. This was a very exciting moment for us. The greatest part of this event was how well Pearl and I worked together at the show and that all of our hard work came together.
#1 Riding Tip: Remember riding is a partnership, build trust, respect and friendship - skills are then much more rewarding, fun and achievable.
As your child's instructor I want to give them fond memories to look back on. I believe that Little League provides a fantastic opportunity to teach a love of horses in a fun environment. It is an opportunity to teach riding skills, but also teach cognitive, gross motor and social skills. Horse riding is great for confidence and spending some time with truly beautiful animals.
My three important points for every lesson are:
I love to teach horse riding and hope that your child enjoys the experiences. Little League is probably my favourite level to teach as children are very keen to learn and it is wonderful to see a young child beginning their equestrian journey. I love to incorporate a lot of different games and obstacle courses to work on different coordination, balance and confidence skills, as well as encouraging children to communicate with one another.
I am always happy to answer any questions that you or your child may have regarding their progress, needs or general curiosity.
I hope that you and your child enjoy learning this wonderful sport.
For your child's safety here is a list of some relevant Qualifications: Working with Vulnerable People, Sports First Aider, CPR, Level 1 Sports Trainer, FPRS Instructors Induction