Coaches & Manager's

Chief Coach 2022 - Kirstie Winter

Hello Everyone. I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Head Coach for this year. I’ve been enjoying my time coaching at rallies, and am looking forward to continuing, and meeting those I’m yet to meet.

A bit about me and my horsey journey.

I was born in England, and my pony obsession began at the age of 6. I got my first pony, a Welsh Mountain mare, when I was 12. At 16, I headed off to college to do a great course that saw me 2 days a week at the riding school, studying for my riding instructor’s exam, and 3 days a week at college, doing university entrance exams. After 2 years, I left college as a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor, and then went to work with horses full time.

I worked as a groom, looking after hunters and eventers, and then as an instructor at a big riding school (around 80 horses). I also lived in Australia for a few years, working as a groom for a showjumper, and teaching at a riding school in the centre of Sydney, based in the Showgrounds there.

My own riding took a back seat for a while in my 20s, but in my 30s, I got back into it, and bought myself a nice 4 year old TB x Irish Sports Horse, Sky. I did dressage and show jumping in the winter, and was a mad keen eventer from March to October (English spring/summer/autumn). I sold Sky as a 9 year old, when I had my first son, Jake.

We emigrated to New Zealand 11 years ago, and since being here, I’ve coached at Ferrymead Pony Club, freelanced as a coach, and I also became a dressage judge. I had a lovely old TB, Vinnie, and had a bit of fun eventing and dressaging with him for a couple of years.

My sons, Jake and Rory, are now 14 and 13, and neither of them are into horses – their main sports are basketball and rugby (plus mountain biking, snow boarding and fishing), so horses are my thing – and my bit of time out.  

I look forward to seeing you at rallies and competitions – and converting those that don’t like dressage lol!

Coach Bio - Eloise Baxter

Hi everyone. Some of you may already know a bit about me but for the people who don't I will give you a quick run through.

I have always loved horses and started riding when I was nine years old joining Kingswell Pony Club. I competed across multiple disciplines and I went though the certificate levels obtaining H Certificate before I headed overseas travelling.  My favourite pony was called Robert, he was a purebred arab and I took him from green broke to eventing at 1.05. Overseas I worked as a groom in three different stables.  Firstly a dressage stable in the UK with 2 yards and 5 grooms. Here I learnt the skill of mucking out quickly and to bandage very neatly! Next I moved to Germany and worked for an Olympic level eventer. The owners of the stable were rather eccentric but  I learnt a lot and got to walk the course at Luhmulen (5*) with the trainer and then groom at this prestigous event. Lastly I worked for a top UK showjumper and  groomed at many major UK competitions. This was a small yard with just 15 horses / 3 grooms but top class facilities including walker, treadmill & solar treatment area. One of my favourites here was a mare called Bluebird (the first mare to win the famous Hickstead Derby). My favourite event to watch is the Hickstead Derby, the jumps are massive & its such a technical course.

I started coaching when I was 16 at Kingswell & Lorneville Makarewa.  I have been instructing at Amberley for well over 10 years. I was head coach from 2019-2021.

Pony Club provides a fantastic foundation for riders, whether they have Olympic aspirations or want to ride for pleasure. I love seeing riders progress and grow confidence. My aim is for riders to have fun while learning and to become better all round horse people.