1000 Hooves: Stories of Moreton Bay Equestrian Community
Embark on a journey through the enchanting Samford area in Moreton Bay, where horse trail riding unveils a tapestry of natural beauty and tranquil vistas. As your horse's hooves tread upon winding paths, you'll find yourself immersed in a landscape that seamlessly blends lush woodlands, meandering creeks, and sweeping fields. The trails in Samford offer an exquisite escape from the bustling world, a chance to connect with nature while forging an unbreakable bond with your equine companion. As the sun rises over the Samford hills, it illuminates not just the natural beauty of the landscape, but the enduring friendships and communities that have blossomed under its gentle gaze.
Beth is the organiser of the Samford trail riders, and her equestrian journey was ignited at the age of 11 when her dream of having her own horse became a reality. Influenced by her mother and aunt's equine adventures in England, where they too fell in love with these majestic creatures as children, Beth's connection with horses started early – she was just four when she first sat atop a horse. That decision marked a pivotal point, as horses would become a cherished part of her life. Russell, a serene grey, Shadow, a dark bay, and King, a chestnut adorned with a white blaze and two white socks, form her exceptional equine family. Known for their calm and sensible nature, these animals hold a special place in Beth's heart. Both she and her mother are active members of the pony club, competing in show jumping and sporting, and as they evolve, venturing into dressage and cross country. Yet among these treasured memories, Beth's fondest recollection is the enchanting ride to her formal with her two horses, a memory that encapsulates the beauty and companionship of her equine partners.
Lyndsay's lifelong dream of riding took root when she was granted the chance to share a pony with her sister at the age of ten. Their pony, a cherished member of a local riding school, would be brushed and pampered within an inch of his life, even though their grooming boxes were dwarfed by their enthusiasm. Lyndsay's parents, though not equestrian enthusiasts, were steadfast in their support, under the condition that the girls shouldered the hard work. A 20-year hiatus from horse ownership didn't dampen her spirit, as she returned to the saddle, unexpectedly choosing a Thoroughbred off-the-track and a 6-year-old, straying from her "no thoroughbreds and no youngsters" criteria. Alfie, her Thoroughbred, exudes positivity, turning potentially terrifying situations into carrot-laden adventures. He's been patiently helping her regain her equestrian groove. On the other hoof, Sunday, her paint X quarter horse, is a keen jumper who reignited her passion for riding in a way she never anticipated. Their personalities contrast, with Alfie's patience contrasting Sunday's sensitivity. Lyndsay is a member of the Samford Equestrian Group, a community that aligns with her supportive and friendly ethos, offering dressage, jumping, and clinic opportunities that fuel her equestrian journey.
Leanne's equestrian journey commenced at the age of five when she welcomed her first horse into her life. The decision was driven by a compassionate spirit, acquiring the horse in need of a loving home. In addition to their equestrian companionship, Leanne's family boasts a Connemara pony, a delightful equine personality with an insatiable appetite and an endearing dog-like behaviour. Known for its relaxed demeanour, Leanne's horse offers a chilled and enjoyable riding experience, prioritizing a steady pace over spirited speed. Amidst the memories of their journey together, Leanne recalls, with amusement, the moment when she was unexpectedly bucked off, a comical reminder that even in the most unexpected twists of the trail, there's always room for laughter and the shared experiences that truly define the essence of a community bound by adventure.
Natalie's equestrian journey commenced at the age of 13, marked by the arrival of her first pony. The memory of her inaugural ride, bareback through a verdant paddock, remains etched in her heart. Franke, a splendid bay off-the-track Thoroughbred, graces her life with his serene nature, exuding calmness and gentleness around people while relishing royal treatment. Their bond is unique, as Natalie undertook the privilege of training Franke fresh from the track. As a member of the Samford Equestrian Group, they engage in jump training and competitions, and Natalie's cherished memory centres around conquering an 80cm cross country jump. Her advice, born from her journey with Franke, encourages aspiring riders to take their time, seeking horses with a compatible connection, trainable spirit, and suitability for their desired disciplines.
Finally, Beccy's equestrian journey began at the age of five, a legacy passed down from her mother who also found joy in riding from an early age. The memory of her inaugural ride holds a mix of emotions – excitement, happiness, and a touch of trepidation – all woven into an unforgettable experience. Her faithful companion, Indie, a 10-year-old paint quarter horse, imparts not only lessons but also a deep bond to both Beccy and her daughter, who now actively participates in various horse-riding activities alongside her. This includes exploring the scenic Samford trails, which have become a shared passion. Engaging fervently with the equestrian community, Beccy not only indulges in day clinics and working equitation events but also joins trail riding groups, embarking on adventures with friends through the captivating trails of Moreton Bay. Among the cherished moments, riding bareback without a bridle remains a testament to the profound trust and connection shared between Beccy and Indie.
It's evident that the trails of Samford are not mere paths through nature, but stages where friendships are nurtured, stories shared, and adventures embraced. The allure of adventure awaits, offering an open invitation to anyone seeking to create their own narratives amidst the scenic wonders of Moreton Bay. Whether you're a rider seeking a new equestrian venture or a soul in pursuit of connection and camaraderie, the trails stand ready to embrace your footsteps and offer experiences that weave the threads of shared stories.
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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.