Meet #TeamGP : Kylie Makkink

22627691_10155884488804189_5114880_nAt Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Instructor, Kylie Makkink!

When did you first start horse riding?

I started riding in 1985 in a dressage arena, which makes me very old – LOL, or young at heart.  Thank you Suzy Jarrett of Sunflower Stud in Berrilee, Caroline, Heath Harris, Victoria Ferguson, Pippin (thelwell style pony), Alphabet (skewbald) and Jacques (35yo and half blind).

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

Only ONE??? Who wrote this?

The property – have you seen the views?

The team including horses (of course).

Excellent management – never understaffed.

The commitment to excellence and ongoing support and training, the investment in their people. I believe in karma! And sincerely feel the values are shared.

The community.

Our clients, their commitment, riding in the rain, brave faces and coming back after the occasional spill.

Working outdoors.

Flexing my muscles on shovelling manure (seriously, I enjoy manual labour).

Willing to invest in equipment and each horse have their own gear.

I love how the ponies are cared for and their work hours are logged.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

Again, you are making this tough…that’s like a favourite fur baby or friend question. They are all gorgeous for different reasons.

I can’t answer that.

What music gets you motivated for the day?

I didn’t know I had time to listen to music in the morning.

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP?

 Always willing to contribute.

What is something special about you most people don’t know?

I started saving or selling things to save eg. insurance, lemons from the garden, washing anything, then selling pizzas, K-Mart and more insurance in 1985 to pay for my riding lessons, then I saved for a horse. I bought my first horse with my own cash in 1989, mum helped with the saddle. I stayed up til the early hours of the morning writing my budget and working out how I could maintain a horse, pouring over product catalogues and costings.  Her name was Danish Gem ie. Gemma – a foul tempered, rearing, biting and kicking registered 14.3hh quarter/stock horse.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

Taking Gemma down Calabash Bay Road, Arcadia NSW, on the dirt, in the rain, by ourselves at gallop. Riding so fast tears rolled down face and stung my skin and breathing into her ear, “faster Gemma, faster”.

What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

Next level of coaching qualification.

What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

Never give up.

 List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

Patience

Perseverance

Encouragement.

Meet #TeamGP : Danielle Ffrench

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Chief Instructor, Danielle Ffrench!

Danielle1When did you first start horse riding?

I think I whinged for about a year when I turned 6-years-old, before my poor mother at 7-years-old finally gave in.  At the time I don’t think she thought it would end up being the life-long passion that it has become.  Certainly in hindsight it was a big turning point ,where today I cant imagine my life without horse in it.

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

There are so many things, I think I am extremely lucky to every day wake up and go to a job I LOVE.  About four years ago now, I left a successful public service career and took a risk that I could support my family with my passion.  It’s not always easy and sometimes its long hours, sometimes it drags me away from my beautiful family, but it lights me up and I think that’s what life is ultimately about – doing something you love.

I also love sharing my knowledge and watching the riders improve and have those light bulb moments.  I won’t lie, working with family isn’t always easy, you often feel the highs and lows to their extremes, but the highs are marvellously high.

 Danielle2Who is your favourite GP Horse/Pony?

Eck, I have so many for so many different reasons – they are all amazing horses, they care about their riders and you can kind of see them loving teaching their riders.  My absolute favourite over the years were the amazing ponies Pipi and Vanity and Cilla was amazing! They aren’t with us anymore. So today I would have to say Savannah and Jamokea.

What music gets you motivated for the day?

Nothing really, though I do like motivational pop – is that even a thing?

 What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to the #TeamGP?

Gosh, I think my years of experience helps the other coaches if they need to troubleshoot. I also feel I am a responsible leader and my passion for it all rubs off on others.

 Danielle3What is something special about you most people don’t know?

I am unsure if people don’t already know everything about me? I suppose little secret is when I was 18 I worked for a year in Canada training and competing young warmbloods. I even did some Eventing (sshh!). This is where I came home with my passion for dressage – before then I did a lot of showing/hacking.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

Oh dear, these are tough questions – I have so many, each horse I have had brings it own special memory. I suppose my first win at a State Championship up in QLD was very special in 2004, and my absolute love Adloo Roma provided many wonderful moments.  Today beautiful James is trying so very hard to steal my heart and I was very proud of his efforts this year in the 4year old Young Horse classes.  Of course there are still plenty still to come!

What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

I am currently working on my Level 2 coaching and Coach Education so it would be lovely to achieve this.  Train our beautiful James to Novice/Elementary competing at state and nationals 2018 and the 5 year old classes.  Start my other baby Briely Selby, maybe have his first outing in late 2018.

 What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

‘Time in the saddle, dedication, time around a horse, hard work, time, watch, listen and don’t rush things.’

I really like this quote:

Picture1

Horse riding is a long term journey. You may have success as a young rider, but I can guarantee you will look back over the years and realise how much more you have learnt over the years.  Don’t ever despair or get down about where you are – it’s a journey. Love the moments and be mindful, live in the present when you’re riding.  Love the journey!

Danielle 7List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

I admire coaches who can explain the ‘How and Why’.

‘Top Riders don’t always make top teachers’ – Interesting read from top showjumper and coach Colleen Brook. ‘At competitions all over the world, we see most of the top riders with students. The sport is very professional. Top riders have spent more time riding than teaching and it has been a necessary shift in focus financially to take on students. In jumping we have plenty of younger riders with students now. Everyone has their way and some are better than others. Some coaches are not good teachers of novice riders, and vice versa Coaching is like horses, some are good at the beginning and some will not make the top. Very few coaches can take a rider/horse from scratch to the top. Very few riders can take a horse to the top. So finding the coach for you at different levels is necessary for your development. Riders will change coaches for many reasons. I remember none of my coaches EVER went to a competition to watch. To help the quality we need a good system. Experience.’ I might stop there for now.

Meet #TeamGP : Margaret Palazzo

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Margaret Pallazzo!

CE618404When did you first start Horse Riding?

When I was seven. My parents gave me ONE term of riding lessons for Christmas (Ha!)

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

Hanging out with horses (and horse people) all day.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

Amira.

What music gets you motivated for the day?

My alarm clock.

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP?

I’ll keep working until the job is done.

 What is something special about you most people don’t know?

I’ve got dual citizenship and two passports, so I guess that doubles my chance of riding at an Olympics.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

Jumping 1m on Amira at the Christmas Show eleven years ago. Or finishing my first 2* event at the start of this year.

What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

Completing my Level 1 coaching certificate. And riding at the Adelaide CCI 2* in November.

 What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

When in doubt, use more leg!

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

Being able to communicate clearly, understand the rider, and keep things simple but effective.

 

 

 

Meet #TeamGP : Alex Wensing

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Alex Wensing, one of our talented instructors!

alex1When did you first start horse riding?
I had my first riding lesson when I was 10 years old, at Gooromon Park, with Amanda Clark – I was her first student!

What’s one thing you love about being part of #TeamGP?
I’ve spent 20 years riding, coaching, learning, growing, sharing all things equine knowledge on this property. So to me Gooromon Park feels like home turf. That’s why I love working here.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?
There have been so many great school horses over the years. But my favourite riding school pony would have to be Zep.

What music gets you motivated for the day?
I love my pop music, so anything with a beat, rhythm and tempo.

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to the team?
I have a healthy sense of humour… The first person I’m willing to laugh at is myself…

What is something special about you most people don’t know?
I was one of Gooromon Park’s first students in 1998 and have stayed with the school since, and gained my Equestrian Australia level one coaching certificate and Stable Manager qualifications with them as well. I was was very proud of this achievement.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?
After many years of riding other people’s horses, my fondest memory is riding my first official dressage test on my own horse, LETS B GRAND (Monty).

alex2What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?
More saddle time… After selling my school master, I don’t have a horse in work at the moment.

What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?
Set goals not limits! One of my first coaches at the riding school once told me I could achieve my level one coaching certificate. At the time, I had no idea what that involved. With the right guidance from my coaches, I’ve now achieved that goal and I’m looking forward to what’s next.

List three great qualities you admire in a great coach?
The ability to listen, set goals and help you achieve them!

Meet #TeamGP : Claudia Beer

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Claudia Beer!

20206187_767501486754524_1248464185_nWhen did you first start horse riding?

I first started horse riding when I was six years old, I begged my parents for riding lessons for years and they finally gave in and booked me lessons at Gooromon Park for my birthday. I think they hoped that I would grow out of it but that clearly never happened.

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

There are so many great things about working at GP, but one thing I love would have to be the team. Not only the team of people but the team of horses we have too. The people are like a second family and there is always fun times at work. As for the horses, the school wouldn’t run without them! They are all such sensible well behaved horses that we can trust to take care of any rider we put on them.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

Zep, he is my absolute favourite. I’ve had so many great memories with Zep both riding him and working with him on the flat. He really doesn’t get enough credit he’s adorable!

What music gets you motivated for the day?

Anything, I will dance to whatever’s on

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP?

My hardworking and willing attitude. I feel I always try my best to make sure all the jobs are done well and everything runs smoothly throughout the day.

20067687_764961413675198_1579961441_nWhat is something special about you most people don’t know?

Not really that special, but my OCD – I’m a perfectionist everything has to be done in order.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

There are honestly so many! Coming 2nd in 6bar at interschools is definitely a big memory, the final fence was 1m45cm and it was the first show without my coach on my new horse so I was super proud my amazing horse.

What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

I’m really hoping to be competing in my amateur/junior show jumping before I age out next year.

What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

All horses are different and respond to different methods, this means that what works for one horse might not work for the next. This is a good way to teach a rider/trainer patience and resilience.

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

Patience, confidence in the rider, ability to change the wording of an instructor based on the rider they are coaching.

Meet #TeamGP : Brittany Heycox

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Brittany Heycox!

20561703_1617317081632542_509062747_nWhen did you first start horse riding?

I first got sat on a horse when I was about 4 and from that moment I loved it! So when I turned 6 I started horse riding lessons at GP and now 12 years on I’m still apart of the GP team and I love it!

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

One of my favourite things about working at GP is the environment everyone is so kind and caring! The staff are all so amazing and the clients are so lovely and everyone really makes it a great environment to work in! 

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

Well, I love all our GP horses and ponies but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Zep my favourite pony and Jamokea my favourite horse!

What music gets you motivated for the day?

Something that is loud and I can dance and sing along to always gets me motivated for the day!

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP? 

I’d say my best attribute would be my hardworking attitude and my motivation to get the job done right.

What is something special about you most people don’t know?

I am the youngest sibling of 7, 4 brothers and 2 sisters!

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

I have many wonderful horse riding memories, but one of my fondest would have to be when I got my first horse – although I didn’t get as much time with him as I would’ve liked he was still a great first horse!

20561768_1617317091632541_1101202863_nWhat’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

In my coaching I wold like to become more confident and with my riding I want to keep progressing with my little three year old and maybe take her on her first outing.

What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

There is a quote I like and I like it because it teaches you that when you fall you must get back up, because falling is all apart of riding.

It is not enough for a person to know how to ride, they must know how to fall.”

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

I think a great coach is someone who motivates you to be the best you can be, someone who is patient and someone who is honest.

Meet #TeamGP : Amanda Clark

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Business Manager and instructor, Amanda Clark!

17966580_1483659421709351_6228262274402828434_oWhen did you first start horse riding?

I  started horse riding when I was about 7 at Fassifern Equestrian Centre out near what is now Dunlop.

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

I love being able to transfer my knowledge onto others and watch all the riders progress and enjoy riding. We have a good team of staff and it is great share our horse knowledge with each other.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

My favourite horse at GP is Jamokea, she is very easy going and able to work for the beginner to advanced level rider, and Candy is my favourite pony, because she used to be my pony, hehe.

What music gets you motivated for the day?

I am into pop music, I love the latest Island sound of pop tracks.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

I have a lot of great memories, probably riding the Prix St George at the Sydney CDI on my horse at the time “Coldstream Donatello”.

1495747_10152171193017189_2017080606_oWhat’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

I would like to get my level 1 and 2 instructors certificate, and continue taking my own horse up through the levels in dressage. We would like to try to get to Dressage With the Stars next year with James and Izzie.

What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

“You can never be too rich, too skinny or ride too many transitions” – Judy Dierks.

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

I admire coaches who are inspiring, supportive and provide constructive criticism that can help you to learn.

Meet #TeamGP : Hannah Klep

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet Hannah Klep!

I began riding at Gooromon Park in 2007 when my parents bought me 5 private lessons for my 8th birthday and it all started from there!

unnamedWhat’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

I love working at Gooromon Park as it allows me to express and share my passion with horses and be actively involved in developing better riders. Teaching is the optimal way for me to transform my experiences in the equestrian world into value for others.

Who is your favourite GP Horse/Pony?

Cinnamon, she was the first pony I rode.

What music gets you motivated for the day?

Justin Bieber obviously!

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP?

I feel that I bring real passion and energy to the team. I have a strong desire to help others and develop them as an all round equestrian athlete. With the background I have competing and training my own horse, I feel that I have the ability to really develop riders and help them achieve their goals.

What is something special about you most people don’t know?

I was born with a heart condition and horses aren’t my favourite animal, cats are. :)

Completing my first 1* event this year has definitely been a highlight, it’s been my goal since I was 12 years old.

unnamed2What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

I would like to qualify and compete in my first CCI International 3 day event with my horse Reprieve.

What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

Planning, goal setting and hard work is the formula for success.

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

Someone who has knowledge and experience of the sport, someone who sets goals and someone who encourages their athletes to believe in themselves.

Meet #TeamGP: Katy Doak

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – today, meet instructor and Jump Club leader, Katy Doak!

Picture1KD2When did you first start horse riding?

I was riding horses before I was walking!

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

I love watching other riders progress and learn. I was in their position 15 years ago, so it is great to see what they are going through from another angle. I have also loved building the friendships between other staff and riders at Gooromon Park, there is a nonjudgmental feel and a supportive vibe from everyone.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

My favourite horse at GP is Subi, and Zep is my favourite pony!

What music gets you motivated for the day?

Whatever is on the radio at the time!

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP?

I feel that I am a focused and responsible natural leader, who likes to bring out the best in others.

What is something special about you most people don’t know?

I’m an Eventer with a secret love for dressage!

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

That’s a hard one, I have too many! My current horse Codie winning 3 of his first few eventing starts would have to be up there.

Picture2What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

I would like to get my level 1 instructors certificate, and continue taking my own horse up through the grades of eventing. Hopefully make a EvA105 start in the next 12 months if I am brave enough!!

 What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

“Distances are like men, never grab the first one you see; it’s never the best one and more will come along” – George Morris. My all-time favourite quote from the master of show jumping!

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

I admire coaches who are motivating, constructively critical and patient.

Meet #TeamGP : Kayla Smith

At Gooromon Park, we love our team of instructors and stablehands. Every member of #TeamGP is passionate about equestrian, is highly skilled, and absolutely loves supporting you on your riding journey.

We’ll be introducing you to the team through our blog – first up, meet Kayla Smith!

Kayla Photo2When did you first start horse riding?

I started when I was quite young, probably around 5 or 6. I was first sat on a horse at 7 months old thanks to my mum, who had horses all her life and has passed her passion on to me!

What’s one thing you love about working at Gooromon Park?

The environment/atmosphere. The clients are wonderful, the staff are all fantastic, and I love coming into work  to see what each day holds for me.

Who is your favourite GP horse/pony?

My absolute favourite has to be Doc. I’ve been part of the coaches lessons, and have been riding Doc. I’ve improved my riding so much thanks to him!

What music gets you motivated for the day?

Anything that is loud and fun to sing along to!

What do you feel is your best attribute that you bring to #TeamGP?

My can-do attitude. If there’s something that needs to be done, you can always rely on the fact that I’m on to it.

What is something special about you most people don’t know?

Not really all that special, but everyone knows me with my curly hair. In actual fact, my natural hair is dead straight. I’ve been getting it permed/curled since I was in year 10.

What is one of your fondest horse riding memories?

Those early morning trail rides, where it’s just me and my horse, watching the sun rise and relaxing. Those are my favourite rides.

What’s one thing you’d like to achieve in your riding or coaching in the next year?

To be more confident, and not second guess myself all the time.

Kayla Photo1What’s one tip or insight you’ve learnt on your horsey journey that you’d like to share?

When riding a horse, you not only have to be the boss, but you have to work as a team.

List three great qualities you admire in a GREAT coach?

Honesty, a sense of humour, and confidence.