For the uninitiated, the word ‘equestrian’ has connotations of riders in black hats jumping horses over white fences at high-level events like the Olympics – but the term covers much broader territory than that.
The Samford Equestrian Group (SEG) also has a wider range of training and services than its name suggests.
SEG is strongly committed to welcoming all levels of skills and abilities – their mission reaffirms this, as it states that they want to provide a safe, supportive and informative environment for equestrian activities that cater to riders of ALL ages, genders, abilities and experience.
Bonded by a love of working in harmony with a horse, the community of members may choose from a range of events and educational classes spanning Show Jumping, Dressage, and the newly launched Working Equitation.
Designed to deepen member’s knowledge and elevate feelings of accomplishment regardless of skill level, the programs are all about the journey of learning.
With roots in classical riding, Show Jumping riders learn to soar over obstacles while Dressage riders perfect the fine art of minute moves to enable their horse to seemingly dance across an arena.
Lesser known but rapidly growing Working Equitation blends classical techniques with the reality of working cattle and performing ranch chores, refining subtle communication between horse and rider by navigating obstacles with speed and finesse.
Realising members learning journey expands beyond these three disciplines, SEG offers a range of educational clinics, retreats, and programs to bring members together and foster a love of learning together.
All ages, abilities and experience are genuinely welcomed. Scratch the surface and ask any of the members of SEG and they each have a story about how they have tackled life’s obstacles, faced challenges, and tragedies; yet, they have managed to overcome and rally.
They put it down to the love of their horse, the discipline and responsibility of caring for a horse and the resilience that comes from never giving up– it is the love, commitment and tenacity that has kept them going. And SEG is the proud host of these successes.
Whilst there certainly are a range of ability levels within SEG, the one thing that unites members (and the big horse community here in the Samford and Brendale area), is their passion, love and commitment to their horses.
SEG also hires its grounds out to other instructors to run their specialist riding clinics.
There are also wonderful stories right across the spectrum of ages; from teenage girls overcoming real hurdles and challenges that can plague these difficult years, to a woman in her 70s overcoming a life-long physical disability and riding every week and practising working equitation, to a man in his fifties staying physically and mentally well while caring for his disabled partner. Stories like these (and there are many) are worth celebrating and supporting.
The Community Bank Samford understands the members’ love of horses and have granted $5,000 to purchase a much-needed seating stand.
This stand will give the rest of the community the chance to understand more about the sport, plus witness the great work, love and commitment that the SEG members give to their horses and their training.
The Bank knows that by providing the grant for the seating stand, that this will bring people together both within and outside the Samford Equestrian Group.
Already it has become the formal area for the riders’ support crew (the carers, parents and therapists) to provide encouragement, guidance and assistance. It has also quite organically drawn people from the community to come and watch and be inspired by the abilities and skills shown across the equestrian disciplines.
And of course, just to see these beautiful animals that also come in all shapes, colours, sizes and abilities work seamlessly with their trusted riders is a sight to behold.