Tuesday, February 15, 2011

South Island New Zealand - part 1

2 weeks in New Zealand with mostly lovely weather and working with enthusiastic and talented Para-equestrian riders was nearly a holiday! I so enjoy working in a team setting. Riding is an individual sport but for those with disabilities it involves a 'team' situation.

Coaching started off in Christchurch in a howling wind. The horses all behaved well but it is always an anxiety when the environment cannot be controlled and one is coaching riders whose balance is compromised due to injury.

After a two day clinic we moved to McLeans Island which is on the outskirts of Christchurch. This competition facility hosts 3 Day Events, Dressage and Show jumping competitions. A lovely facility.

It was the Para-equestrian Nationals run in conjunction with an AB (able-bodied) dressage competition.
The Grade 4 rider Jenny Afflick (who lives in the most southerly house in New Zealand) also rode in the Prix St. George and the Inter 1 Freestyle. She was second in both.

There are still signs of the earthquake in Christchurch.

There have been more than 4,000 after shocks so the area is still quite unstable. Friends of mine who live near one end of the major quake still do not know if they can repair their house or it has to be demolished and permission refused to rebuild on the land. It has been 'yellow stickered'.

Then my physio friend Vicky Melville, who I often work with in Japan, drove me across the South Island through Arthur's Pass. As predicted the weather turned from hot to rain. Still a glorious mixture of stark and beautiful.

This wood sculptor in Greymouth was recovering from a stroke. He told us that he was creating this as therapy. It is opposite a school and he has made books as well as this quill.

We stayed with friends on a cliff top on the west coast. This was the view from my bedroom.

Published 16 Feb at 9.07 a.m.

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