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The Story of Andrea and Christina: A Love of Learning

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

1000 Hooves: Stories of Moreton Bay Equestrian Community

Nestled in the idyllic town of Cashmere, Australia, a haven comes to life within the embrace of rolling hills and landscapes. Here, Andrea, her daughter Christina, and a lively crew of border collies embrace the equestrian lifestyle with a spirited assembly of eleven horses and ponies. Each horse has its own personality, there are cheeky ones, anxious ones, brave ones, and talented ones – all contributing to the mosaic of life on their property.

Andrea's journey commenced in her native Germany, but it was her family's immigration to Australia, when she was 15, that ignited her equestrian dreams. While life led her down different avenues, including a career as a schoolteacher in Ferny Grove, her passion for horses remained steadfast. It wasn't until she turned 32 that she took her first riding lesson at Brian McAllister’s riding school in Samford, and with her deep-seated obsession for riding, she amazed herself by walking, trotting, and cantering on her very first day. From that transformative moment, her trajectory shifted, propelling her into a realm of coaching, horsemanship, and the art of sharing her newfound expertise with others. Today, her riding school stands as a haven, where individuals of all ages and backgrounds converge to learn and grow.

Her journey took on another dimension when she became a mother. Among her three children, her daughter Christina, from an early age, exhibited an affinity for horses that mirrored her mother's. Growing up in the enchanting Samford Valley, Christina's life was woven into the saddle. Guided by her mother's expertise, she explored the riding trails of Samford atop her first pony, igniting a passion that would shape her future.

Andrea and Christina's bond flourished as they embarked on a shared endeavour: endurance riding. Before the sun kissed the sky, before work, before school, mother and daughter spent countless hours in the saddle, training across 40km of terrain. As Christina transitioned through high school, her passion expanded to show jumping, a thrilling experience as the horse launched gracefully into the air. Together Andrea and Christina dove into intensive coaching, under the guidance of Robert Goodwin, revealing their natural aptitude for working with these noble creatures.

It was during this transformative period that Andrea's calling took shape. Drawing on her accumulated Long Service Leave (LSL) from her work as a state schoolteacher, she founded a riding school. From humble beginnings in a dusty round yard, the school evolved into a haven for horse enthusiasts of all ages. With determination and an unwavering commitment, Andrea and Christina built a full-size equestrian arena, offering riding lessons, retraining for OTTBs, and support for NDIS riders and their families.

At 18, Christina is already a successful freelance coach in the Samford region. Her pride shines brightly as she watches horses she has broken in transform into quiet and dependable lesson horses for young kids. The young re-trainers she nurtured have evolved into mature sports horses, a testament to her commitment and dedication.

Reflecting on her journey, Andrea offers sage advice: "Be prepared to never stop learning." Her story is a testament to this philosophy. From a teenager yearning for a horse to a teacher turned riding school founder, her evolution is an embodiment of the power of perseverance, the strength of familial bonds, and the magic that horses bring into our lives.

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All Photos are Copyright of Novina Photography

This Project was made possible through RADF The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

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