With school done for the day and girls making their way to their various co-curricular activities, we find a handful of Glennie girls busily preparing for an upcoming equestrian meet.
From dreaming of owning her own horse, to finally getting one of her own four years ago, Year 12 student Abbey Conlan has found her passion for riding and thrives on being part of the Glennie Equestrian team.
With initial encouragement from her Uncle Michael, as well as training her Australian Stock Horse ‘Drake’, Abbey has continued her love of horses and competition. It’s not only her that loves competing, she feels that Drake loves doing cross country. “He absolutely eats it up, so that makes it fun as well when your horse loves it. You can just tell they just take off with you.”
Equestrian can be quite an individual sport, however, the Glennie team spirit is alive. For those girls who are considering equestrian, Abbey encourages girls to be part of the team and not worry about their abilities.
Girls can enjoy the sense of achievement that comes from working hard for a personal goal and the camaraderie of working in a team. Hard work, discipline, and dedication have paid off for Abbey and one of her biggest equestrian achievements to date was qualifying for the Nationals team this year In Sydney.
Year nine student, Emily Ruhle has been doing equestrian for four years, with her main discipline being, show jumping. She too has always loved horses, and riding and enjoys being part of the Glennie equestrian team. Although horses are her passion, she has not come from an equestrian family.
Her parents were new to the equestrian world, and were actually scared of them, however, supported her desire to ride by arranging some lessons when she first showed an interest. This sparked Emily’s passion for riding and she continues to love the sport and competitions with her two horses, Sundance and Midnight. “I’ve always loved horses, but I didn’t know how deep my love for horses ran until I started competing and being in the team”, she said.
“I’ve always loved horses, but I didn’t know how deep my love for horses ran until I started competing and being in the team”Emily Ruhle
The one thing that Emily has learned since commencing riding is how strong horses are and how strong she is to pull them up. “It’s amazing to see how much we’ve improved. It feels quite amazing when I’m going over those high jumps, and realising how much we’ve both learned are very rewarding”, Emily said. Her dream and personal goal are to make the Nationals and one day, own her own equestrian property. Although not competing at this year’s Nationals, Emily will still go to support and hang out with her fellow teammates.
Growing up with horses, Year eleven student Mia Nolan has loved the opportunity of experiencing many different disciplines including dressage, eventing, show jumping, and show riding. Experiencing the adrenaline of fast riding, she loves eventing the most. “I love the feeling of going over jumps. You feel almost free. It’s like you’re one with your horse, and it’s just a really special feeling”, she said.
Equestrian President, Mr Michael Nolan is very passionate about helping the equestrian girls and enjoys being part of the culture and community. The girls are exposed to coaching clinics and regular training sessions. Everyone who wishes to join the team is warmly welcomed and encouraged, no matter the level or the experience of the rider. The girls all feel very fortunate to be a part of the Glennie Equestrian team.
They are extremely grateful for the training and support that they receive from the parents and supporters of the group and understand the expense and time that goes into the sport. Being in the team the girls learn about respect, humility, and resilience.
Riding and caring daily for a horse, and working within this team, has also brought them self-confidence and taught them about responsibility towards something greater than themselves.