Exciting new equestrian magazine, Show Circuit, is now using both Twitter and Facebook to communicate with readers. News, views, photos and sneaky peeks at upcoming issues can all be viewed over at the Fan Page by clicking here. Follow Show Circuit on Twitter by heading over to this page.

Online equestrian resource, Equine Trader NZ, can also be followed via both these social media tools. Their Facebook Fan Page is here and you can follow them on Twitter here.

I think it's fantastic that horsey businesses are finally jumping on the world wide web. It's a great way of keeping in touch with us customers and also shows us that the people behind them are in fact human, not some cold, faceless corporate entity! I find it interesting that equestrian companies seem to be a few steps behind other industries when it comes to networking online. Why do you think that is? Are they online less? Or just too damned busy!

If anyone else knows of any NZ equestrian businesses who have taken the plunge in their online communications, feel free to share links with the rest of us.


This might sound like a funny question but when you're watching the saddle hunters (show hunters in the UK) parading around the show ring, immaculately groomed and covered in show sheen, it's kind of hard to imagine them flying over fences and galloping over muddy fields on a hunt meet. How many riders actually take their hunters out hunting?

Part of me thinks it would be ridiculous to have a horse you are presenting to judges as the perfect hunter type, and only compete in the show ring with it....It would be a bit like owning a shiny, brand new Aston Martin and only using it to drive down to the bottom of your drive to pick up the post. Surely, if you have the perfect hunter, he should be out doing what he was bred to do. Hunting, cross country, jumping, plus a million other things a horse like that is built to do.

But then another part of me does understand that these animals are show horses and, even though we often won't admit it, a scar or a lump, will have an impact on the judge's decision if they are faced with two horses of equal type, quality and performance.....

If you're a show rider and you actually take your saddle/show hunter out hunting over winter, let us know! If you keep your hunter wrapped up in cotton wool, tell us about that as well. I would love to hear both sides of the story on this one.

UPDATE: Comment from succesful NZ saddle hunter competitor, Anne Hjorth, owner of 'Savile Row':-

'I would hunt my saddle hunter, however, a couple of things stop me from doing this:

1. the cost to join the hunt club - i have no funds left after a show season for this lump sum of nearly $400. (Waikato Hunt)
2. I work full time and would not be able to keep him fit enough for it once daylight savings ends.
3. last few times I hunted (rode huntsman spare horses) couple years ago, it put me off as there are some riders and horses totally uneducated that are down right dangerous and I would hate to put my good show horse in a situation which might cause injury to himself.

Otherwise, love the sport and if there were smaller fields or if I didn't work I certainly would be hunting each winter.'


If you're new to showing or returning to competing after an extended gap, you need as much help as you can get! The Supreme Products blog is a great resource and is regularly updated with showing tips like how to sew perfect plaits. Make sure you check it out!

If you have any questions about Supreme Products, feel free to ask me. If you would like to purchase anything, you can contact them directly and they will advise you of shipping costs etc. A limited selection of their products can also be purchased from D C Grooming Supplies here in New Zealand and a few items also occasionally pop up on TradeMe.

Happy Showing!


This is something that has been on my mind for a little while so I have decided to get it out there and air it on this blog! Does anyone else think that the majority of people that show in-hand overshow their animals or is it purely the less educated individuals who are new to the sport and perhaps don't know any better? Or, at the other end of the scale, is it in fact the breeders and professionals who while aiming to get their stud name and stock out in front of potential purchasers/clients, demand a little too much of their in-hand animals? I'm not entirely sure of the answer so would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

The reason I included youngstock in the title is because overshowing the babies is something I have noticed in both the UK and here in NZ.

I do know of several well known studs and handlers who only take their yearlings and other youngsters out two or three times a season and this is great. It gives them that valuable show ring education but keeps the horse fresh and interested.

However, I have also noticed people dragging their baby horses and ponies out to show after show and I just do not think it is fair. It is even more distressing to see mares and foals treated like this as young joints find both travelling and the work required in the ring quite tiring. Young minds also find it very stressful. Once they have arrived at a show, I have seen foals/yearlings taken in a huge amount of classes. I'm sorry to say that I consider 3+ classes excessive for a very young animal and I do wonder whether people are more interested in a scrap of ribbon than the welfare of their horse....?

People also need to remember that while in-hand showing is an awful lot of fun and we all love walking away from a competition with that much yearned for red ribbon, if you want your horse to come out in a few years as a successful ridden show horse, overshowing can be detrimental. The last thing you want is a beautiful three year old prospect that is already sick of the show ring! And yes, you can spot them a mile away when compared to ones that have been shown lightly. Something to think about perhaps?


I have just been looking through the NZ Horse of the Year Show results here, and Alan Windle, founder of Nala Stud, has clinched the prestigious In-Hand Pony of the Year title for the SIXTH year running, with 'Nala Emblems Zephyr.' What an outstanding achievement!

Two of his other ponies also did very well in the title class. 'Nala Emblems Windswept' came third and 'Nala Nicholai's Fern' came sixth. He must be very proud.

The Rising Star Park Hack class also took place yesterday. It's always good to see some new names in the results. I do hope we see all of the Rising Stars out competing over the years to come though and that they don't just vanish as many seem to do!


I'm very excited to announce that I have just started doing some online marketing work on behalf of UK based company, Supreme Products. I have been a fan of this brand for my entire showing career so I'm really looking forward to helping them develop their online presence and reach even more people

For those of you that don't know them, here are the various Supreme Products links.

Facebook: Facebook Fan Page
If you have any questions, feel free to flick me an email. Happy showing!


If you want to keep up to date with all the goings on down at the Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show, make sure you check out the New Zealand Equestrian Showing Scene group on Facebook. Well known showie, Elizabeth Charleston is adding results as they come in.

It's great to see that New Zealand's first ever Show Riding Horse of the Year title class was well attended, with some good quality horses in there. It will be interesting to hear what people have to say about how it was judged etc when they return from Hastings next week. Winning Show Riding Horse of the Year was 'On Cloud Nine', ridden by Jordan Murray. Reserve was 'Volte' and Amanda Berridge.

I have also just read that 'Aranui Chablis' has won the Lead Rein title yet again, this time with Ashleigh Everton on board. That little pony is unstoppable!

Photos of HOYS classes can be seen over at NZEquine. They're uploading new ones every day so no need to wait for ages to browse through all those lovely pictures.


Now and again, I like to provide a list of other showing and equestrian related blogs. Sometimes, when we're not out riding or battling with a pony that won't stand still to be plaited, it's nice to settle down in front of a computer to read about somebody else's experiences!

Supreme Products Blog: Supreme Products is a UK based company which provides show ring products and garments. Their blog is an excellent source of information, showing tips etc and also contains a number of rider profiles and other articles. Definitely one to check out!

The Horse Show Kid is a lovely blog which follows a young girl and her pony through their showing career. You can tell from her posts that she's a truly dedicated show rider- very inspirational....

There are some excellent Badminton Horse Trials blogs being hosted on the Horse & Hound website at the moment, from such riders as Badminton debutant Sarah Stretton and Chinese eventer Alex Hua Tian. Both diaries are a great read and give you a good idea of the level of hard graft that goes into preparing for an event like this!

Does anyone know of any Kiwi horse related blogs that are worth checking out?


In case you weren't aware, a number of 'Show Circuit' articles are now available online over at

Quite a few of mine are now available, including interviews with Simone Simpson (great interviewee!), Alan Windle, Leigh Taylor and Louise Blair. My 'The Art of Ringcraft' piece is also up, as is 'Show Hunter: Striving for Success.' Make sure you check them out. I'm always open to feedback and comments. If you have anything to say just leave a comment here or flick me an email.

Keep an eye out for the April issue which will be out in a few weeks


I have been using Twitter for business purposes for a little while now but haven't really done much personal 'tweeting.' I decided to change this today and have set up my own Twitter account, separate to the business ones, to talk about my two favourite topics- horses and showing!

You can follow me here:

I'll be posting interesting links, showing and equestrian news from around the world and will also be passing on any turnout, grooming and other showing preparation tips I come across along the way. Feel free to sign in and add your own advice as well. Happy tweeting!


Well, I have been neglecting the Horse Tales blog these past few months. Partly because I went back to the UK for five weeks over Christmas and also because I've had a few other exciting things going on. However, I am now back in avengence and looking forward to posting regularly!

As far as my own personal showing activities go, I am very excited to have been showing yearling Park Hack filly 'Graemar Replique' (stable name Katie) for the first time this season. She has taken everything in her stride and I'm very proud of her. At her first show, Helensville A&P, we took things slowly and cautiously, ending up with a third place in the Junior Arab Derivative Filly class, Three Years and Under. My main objective was to get her used to the sights and smells of the showground and she excelled herself! A few neighs but that was all. At our next show, Kumeu A&P, we really went for it as she had proved at the previous show that she was perfectly laid back about the whole showing affair. We were rewarded with two firsts, in the Sporthorse Yearling class and the Junior Sporthorse Suitable for Show Hacking! I'm so pleased with this little horse and really looking forward to taking her out again.