Humans n Horses

"Even at the most intense times when everybody's adrenaline is rushing, I'll feel a sense of satisfaction and calm knowing that I made the right decision to follow my passion and go overseas".

(Auckland, New Zealand)

“I know you can jump bigger than Pre-Novice, Lightning!”

(Ararimu, New Zealand)

Tiny steps today, giant strides tomorrow!

(Patamahoe, New Zealand)

"Jumping for Joy"

(Ararimu, New Zealand)

“Sometimes when we are jumping Lightning flicks an ear back to check that I'm safe, because he doesn't want to lose me. I don't worry because I know he's got this”.

(Ararimu, New Zealand)

“Being the high profile owner of Quality NZ Horses, how does a typical day look for you?”

“This is pretty much what it’s like for me. And I’m never without my sunglasses!”

(Cambridge, New Zealand)

“This pic was taken at Puhinui and it was the last time I rode this horse. Kirby Delamont was there and she literally bought him on the spot. I had barely completed my show jumping round when she ran up to me to make an offer. I told her to give me five minutes to decide but of course the answer had to be yes. They’re pretty much all for sale. It’s a bit sad parting with the good ones particularly when you breed them. But Kirby has a great bond with him and they recently completed their first 3* in Sydney, jumping a lovely clear x-country. They’ve now been selected for the National Development Squad. So that’s what makes it all worthwhile.”
© iSpyHorses 2015

(Cambridge, New Zealand)

The man behind a philosophy that could well be carved in stone at every pony club.

Franz Mairinger, the former Spanish Riding School Instructor, who was the official trainer for the Equestrian Federation of Australia and coached the team for six Olympics, had a very simple philosophy when it came to children.
It was to teach them to love their ponies, to ride forward and to have fun. His belief was that if they loved their ponies, the children would learn to look after them properly. If they were taught to ride forward, that provided the foundation for anything that was to come in the future of their riding, and if they had fun, they would stay with the sport.
© iSpyHorses 2015

"I have to work in lots of jobs to keep him, partially because we both like nice things but mostly because he deserves the very best and I love him!"

(Wanaka, New Zealand )

"This is my new best friend. I led the field at the children's hunt last week and this little lady decided she could do whatever I did! I was standing up in my stirrups looking for hounds and I looked down to see this tiny Thelwell situation and the wee girl was standing in her stirrups too. I'm pretty sure she had no idea why but if I was doing it, so was she!"
© iSpyHorses 2015
Photo credit: V.Holmes Unique Moments

(Karaka, New Zealand )

“Diego is a Dutch warmblood. When I tried him over there, we were in an indoor school and they were shooting clay pigeons next door. I knew Diego was right for me because he wasn’t fazed. It’s his temperament that made me buy him and it’s his temperament that’s saving me now.
The greatest incentive for me to get better and return to riding has been Diego. I mean I bought this special horse that I wanted to ride. I’m not sure another horse could have made me keep going. There were days that I was up at 4am and travelling a couple of hours to physio. I might have given up trying but thanks to Diego I didn’t. The doctors were like ‘It’s quite likely you won’t keep going with your riding” but I was like “well I don’t know how to do anything else’. They treated me with injections into my spine but then they just gave up. Nothing was helping. They talked about operating but they weren’t so hopeful. Then I started physio with a pretty famous guy. I went a couple of times a week and now it’s once. It’s a special therapy where I have injections into ligaments to make them stronger and hold the discs together better.
It was a bucking horse that pulled me sideways. I didn’t fall off but I ended up with three herniated discs. It’s partly the result of the wear and tear of years of riding. I’ve come back from a pretty tough road. There were days when I’d be lying flat between giving lessons. I’d get up, do two hours of lessons then lie flat again in the truck. Riding is actually really good now. I’ll be competing soon. Diego and I will be starting at Taupo.
He’s had six months off and I’ve been bringing him back in slowly. He tries so hard and we’re gaining fitness together. Even when I’m all over the place he catches me. He’s actually looking after me. He would never try to drop me or get me off when he easily could. And the better I’m getting the more movement he’s giving. He’s really in tune with where I’m at. He helps you out a bit and doesn’t canter so big if I can’t cope with it, but his canter’s getting bigger as I get stronger. It’s great from a horse that spent his life confined inside, boxed night and day and worked in indoor schools. Of course here in NZ he’s outside in a paddock and schooled in outdoor arenas and he just goes ‘OK cool let’s do it’. He’s sharp but not stupid. He just fits in and he’s always happy. If I hold him out for a pick he doesn’t try and tow me around. He’s a horse with a good personality. He’s kind of helpful in everything he does. He’s just like my little mate. And I’m really lucky I can ride now so that’s a huge bonus for me. It’s all very positive now. “
© iSpyHorses 2015

(Te Awamutu, New Zealand )

"Remember! Red flag on the right, Matthew!"

(Taupo, New Zealand )

"I've been a professional polo player for fifteen years and I still, when I can, take my team for their daily exercise sets! It's my special time with my girls!"

Photo copyright to

"I was thrilled that we won our last event together. We were having the happiest season winning everything and I never intended to sell him. It's so heart breaking. You do all that hard work and get a great partnership going. I bought him straight off the track and every day I rode him I had a smile. He never put a foot wrong and he always tried so hard. I'd have given anything for another few years. But they become too valuable. People always want to buy the good ones. I'd have had to win lotto to be able to afford to keep him."
© iSpyHorses 2015

(North Island, New Zealand)

"Can someone please get me a horse smacker?"

(North Island,New Zealand)

"He is feeling rather pleased with himself after steaming around the x-country at Larkhill, jumping clear and no time faults.The video would have been great but Mum forgot to press record. It's our first win together as well!"
© iSpyHorses 2015


Very tired after extreme awesomeness!


My mum showed me how to hold the rope. I was doing it properly but Ginger kept following me and trying to eat my hair.