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Saddle Camp Goss - January '18


What Can You Get Involved In?

 Saddle Club is Back!


Holistic Grazing & Ecological Monitoring Courses in Braidwood

The Holistic Management Co-operative Project and Farming Together are offering two-day courses in innovative approaches in holistic grazing and ecological management in Braidwood, Mudgee and Orange.

Each course offers practical learning activities, and no formal assessment is required. Modules covered include: grazing planning, ecosystem processes, and biological monitoring and ecological outcomes verification. Their appeal is “Learn to grow more grass, prepare for dry seasons, and manage grazing during dry seasons and droughts.” 

Courses are delivered largely in the paddock by professionals from the Holistic Management Educators of Australia and New Zealand, accredited by the Savory Institute. The cost is $500 student contribution per farm, plus bring a friend for free. All learning resources are provided, along with morning and afternoon teas.

Braidwood dates are 13-14 Feb, 3-4 & 5-6 March, and 19-20 April. To register and inquire, contact Brian Wehlburg – 0408 704 43, or  Braidwood: Tony Hill – 0412 128 755,

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Farewell To Belle

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Belle last month, when her injury from November began to trouble her even more. Belle was a very strong  and valuable part of our team for the last 6 years and was always one of the favourites to our riders, visitors & workers. She was the complete package with her knowledge of Dressage and Show Jumping, as well as working brilliantly on the lunge for lessons. 

Belle was originally from New Zealand and was owned and adored by a lovely lady by the name of Lissa who trained her for Dressage and Show jumping which she was naturally very talented at. Lissa and Belle were an incredible duo competing together at Medium Level Dressage & Show Jumping up to 1.20 meters! 

We're so thankful to Lissa for letting us take Belle off her hands to join our team and improve our campers riding and leave them with huge smiles on their faces! 

Belle was well loved right through her entire life up until the very end, and will leave a huge hole in many of our hearts. And although the world of horses is incredibly vast, it will be extremely difficult to find another horse as perfect as Belle was. We are grateful to have shared Belle's final years with her. She can now rest easy in horsey heaven enjoying endless amounts of delicious carrots in boundless luscious, green fields.  


Summer School Holidays

Summer school holidays have sadly come to an end and it's time for Team Saddle Camp to have a well deserved rest! All riders and horses were incredible these past 9 weeks and we couldn't be more happy and proud of you all! A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our activities these holidays and your continual support towards Saddle Camp. A big thank you also to all our workers who did a brilliant job; without their assistance things wouldn't have run as smoothly as they did! We hope to see everyone very soon and look forward to the next round of school holidays!  

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Make sure to book in quick for our overnight camps as they fill up fast!


Winners of our Monthly Barrel Draw! 

This months winner is Charlotte Lee! Congratulations Charlotte, you have won a Gift Certificate for a free Day Camp of your choice!

Congratulations to our runner-ups -  Sayan Bhushal, Lyric Knowles, Ben Hart, Anarion Hart, Leasa & Kaylee Sturgiss, Jessalyn Smiltnieks, Jemma Walls, Mady Reed, Amee Rhodin, Keira Goodear, Shadae Zagar, Lilliana Reynolds, Lukas Savage, Toby Simpson, Taylor Natoli, Toni, Leah Tozer, Bhriana Monaghan, Lucinda Camilleri, Teileigha Lukey, Lilith Bradley, Ava Attenborough, Alyssa Tannous, Jake Russell, Tyson Russell, Logan Russell, Calais Russell, Aprika Joshi, Luke Walker, Mady Reed, Jett & Lotus Defaux-Casley, Marissa Ingham, Shantell Ingham, Amali Ingham, Zoe Ingham, Gemma Hart, Elanor Hart, Ben Hart, Anarion Hart, Mikaela Ryan, Jack Ryan, Kaylee Sturgiss, Rhiarna and Zara Watchers, Libby Walsh, Flynn Walsh and Riley Walsh. 


Congratulations To:

 Alexis Proctor, Eve Hunter, Matilda Proctor, Jasmine Knowles, Aysha Sanchez, Hailey Thill-Turke, Lily Shaw, Charlotte Lee, Shadae Zager, Amelia & Joh Blinco, Yabing Lya, Naomi Mulders, Jessalyn Smiltnieks & Zoe Smith who were all awarded a trophy for Best Horse Person at Saddle Camp (at our Day and Overnight Camps)! 

Happy Birthday To:

Max Algie, Lachlan & Brie Allinson-Brasser, Kayla Ashman, Anusha Bajracharya, Sarah Barker, Josie Barrett, Lucy Buamann-Lionet, Chloe Beerworth, Sophia Belgrove, Abby Birkett, Poppy Blaik, Kelarney & Kirra Blunden, Tabitha Bobbin, Isabella Breen, Jaiden Buchanan, Lucinda Callan, Pearl Carney, Lillyarna Castagna, Madeline Ciacia, Nicole Claydon, Brodie Collett, Annika Connelly-Hansen, Larissa Dean, Eden Dix, Natasha Donald, Thana Eisingerich, Izzy Faill, Hannah Fisher, Leyla Gaha-Morris, Krystyna Garcia, Chloe Goddard, Darcy Gordon, Jennifer Gordon, Penelope Grastien, Gemma Guillot, Annalise Hanger, Ash Hays-Stevenson, Charli Heinrich, Eliya Henckle Quinn, Victoria Henricksson, Amy Herringe, Lola-Lee-Lou Hoeffer-Dunne, Aimee Hopkins, Tessa Hughes, Mahina Imran, Lachlan Johnson, Aneka Jones, Emily Keil, Emilia Kelly, Jasmine Knowles, Claudia Laing, Tara Sephton, Ruby Lange, Sonja Leshinskas, Yumi Loftus, Ashlee Lukey, Chloe Maas, Harry Mathias, Amelia Mitchell-Grieves, Sam Moller, Melanie Mullan, Tayla Murray, Ella Nebel, Amelia Nettlefold, Ava Nex, Loren Obst, Natalie Orchard, Cleo Osborne, Katelyn Osmialowski, Lily & Paloma Padovan, Astrid & Olsen Pekarsky, Jamie Percy, Angelica Piper, Stella Riley, Mariah Roberts, Aliya Ryan, Kensie Schonrock, Anabella Sebbens, Sinead Cheffield, Julia Sinclair, Hunter Spillaino, Faith Summers, Madeleine Swann, Ryan Tassicker, Tanya & Talya Thompson, Sophie Thompson, Tash Tisdell, Monique Trewin, Zoe & Ani Turner, Kate & Alfie Warner, Stacie Williams, Nicole Willis, Paityn Wilson, Mia Yeomans, Mickaya Zagar. 

For Sale:

Lola-Lee Lou's Equestrian T-shirts! Handmade & designed Equestrian t-shirts by Lola-Lee Lou Hoeffer-Dunne from Canberra. These t-shirts are displayed at Saddle Camp but can be mailed to those of you who wish to purchase one of these gorgeous pieces of clothing! To order yours now, contact Helen on 0417 456 093 or E:

New Size L 10 Saddle Camp Polo Shirts - We have new & improved Saddle Camp shirts for those of you who would like to purchase one. All have "Saddle Camp" written on the backs, but can order a batch for those of you wishing to have shirts personalised & in appropriate sizes - $45
For more details contact Helen on 0417 456 093 or Email: 

 Kids Leather Gloves - Like new, smart looking brown & taupe ELT riding gloves - would suit 7 - 10 year old $15
Contact Helen for more details - 0417 456  093 or E:

 If you have any outgrown horsey gear, name your price and let me know. I’d be delighted to advertise it here in our newsletter, free of charge!  There’s

In our Café/Gift Shop, we have:

·                     Brand new, never been read, Thoroughbred, Heartland and Saddle Club books from $2-$5 each. 

·                     Saddle Camp Caps, Beanies, Hats, Pillow Cases, Key Rings, etc. 

·                     Horse Riding Apparel – cute jods, gorgeous shirts, chapettes, jackets, socks, etc.

·                     Espresso Coffee & Freshly Baked Treats with some featuring Australian Native Ingredients (such as Lemon Myrtle Cheesecake, Anzac Biscuits, Saddle Camp Short Bread Girls, Pies, Chocolate Cake & Brownies).

·                     Sully's Homemade Pickles, Chutneys & Assorted Brewed Soft Drinks - various delicious flavours to choose from & are all made from local, homegrown produce at The Old Cheese Factory in Reidsdale, Braidwood.

·                     Yerriebah Jams with berries grown and bottled in Little Bombay Road.

·                     Elanor’s Eggs – Free range eggs from our lovely next door neighbor Elanor.  $5 for a fresh dozen.  Call 0415 585 878 to order and collect them on your next visit to Saddle Camp.


Also, we have a huge collection of lost property – so if you think you’ve left something behind don’t be afraid to ask me.  I’ll post it back to you!


Nothing Will Keep Emily Coyle Out Of The Saddle


When your surgeon says you may never ride again, that’s pretty much the last thing you hear him say. Everything else is just babble. For Emily Coyle, like so many equestrians, riding is part of who she is. So when neurological symptoms from a cyst on her spinal cord showed up while she was working on her doctoral dissertation, the last thing she planned to do was stop competing her horse in the jumpers.

Two surgeries on her spine later, 29-year-old Coyle, a psychology professor at St. Martin’s University in Olympia, Washington, has not let anything slow her down. She got her start in riding when she was 7 or 8 on Hershey, a pony she leased for pony camp and later bought. “He bucked me off when I tried him,” she remembered, “and my mom said, ‘Perfect, we’ll take that one.’” Coyle and Hershey did eventing, pony jumpers, parades and swimming.

When she was ready to move up to a horse, her next mount was Harrison, her junior jumper until he retired. Along the way, Coyle, who is not easily daunted, decided she wanted to start a horse. She convinced her parents she needed a foal, and not just any foal—an unhandled Premarin draft horse foal.

Coyle got the filly after she spotted her on a 30-second clip of babies on a Premarin farm, and started her under saddle a couple of years later. “She actually was really a neat jumper,” Coyle said, and Hailey, show name, “Cheap Thrills,” was going to be the replacement for Harrison, who was retiring, despite the fact that Hailey “bucked like a rodeo bronc.”

Coyle was working on her dissertation proposal and showing Hailey in the adult jumpers when she suddenly began having neurological symptoms only on the left side of her body—a blurry eye, a dragging left foot and hand shaking. She had an emergency MRI, met with a neurosurgeon and was told she had a cyst on her spinal cord the size of a golf ball which would be life threatening or paralyzing if it ruptured.

“What should have scared me the most was the surgery,” which was both life-saving and life-threatening, Coyle said, but the surgeon told her the damage could be cumulative from riding and perhaps she couldn’t ride anymore. She was devastated.

“I don’t remember much about my first hospitalization,” Coyle said of the November 2013 surgery, but afterward, she remembered the surgeon telling her that riding was a possibility.

Sadly, as Coyle was going into her first surgery, Hailey got an infection in her poll, which turned to sepsis and, despite a number of surgeries, the mare had to be put down. “The cost of all the surgeries was the budget for the new horse,” Coyle said. So she replaced the bucking bronco Premarin mare with a wild off-the-track Thoroughbred, who for all his quirks, doesn’t buck. Best Coast, or “Westley,” is currently Coyle’s ride. And bucking or not, the caveat Coyle was given was that if she was going to ride, she needed to wear an air vest, specifically the Hit Air Advantage, her doctor said. Coyle had to first recover from eight weeks of horizontal bed rest thanks to a spinal fluid leak, but she was soon back in the saddle.

With the vest on, Coyle said she was worried she’d look “like a total amateur, which I am.” But she’d done some pretty big jumpers in the past, competing in the high adults and the modified junior/amateur jumpers. With her green Off The Track Thoroughbred she was just doing “speed bumps,” so she did a little retail therapy and bought a black coat to match the vest.

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Coyle soon discovered people don’t ask about the vest that much. Even better, Olympian Joe Fargis also wears an air vest, which inspired her. “Falling for me is just a bigger deal,” Coyle said, thanks to the surgeries that have left her with an unprotected spot on her back.

Leap forward three years and Coyle had completed her doctorate at Pennsylvania State University, with a dissertation on Influences on Children’s Play with a STEM Toy: Interactions Among Children, Parents, and Gender-Based Marketing, taught for year at Beloit College (Wisconsin) and moved back across the country to the Pacific Northwest, where she had grown up, to take a tenure-track position as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Saint Martin’s University (Washington).

A glance at Coyle’s curriculum vitae shows she is as dedicated to her career as she is to her riding. She completed her doctorate before she was 30 and has at least nine scholarly articles published and two under revisionBroadly, Coyle’s research relates to “how social group membership shapes personal cognition, intergroup cognition, and ultimately outcomes like achievement, aspiration, and interest.” 

In 2017, in her first year as a tenure-track faculty member, the symptoms came back, but worse. Thanks to her shaking hand, “I broke every water glass in the house,” but conveniently, Coyle laughed, the prizes at the Cascade horse show series in Washington were etched glasses, “so I won them back.”

The neurosurgeon said the cysts on her spine were not from riding after all, but because her spinal cord was tethered. Spinal cords should hang free, Coyle explained, but hers is attached, and her doctor theorized that was causing the cysts. It’s a birth defect, she said, similar to spina bifida. Tethered cord syndrome in adults means attachments cause an abnormal stretching of the spinal cord, according to the National Institutes of Health. The earlier surgery is done, the better chance the patient has the symptoms can be fixed.

Coyle had surgery in April 2017. Her horse headed down to California to compete without her.

It’s a long-term solution, Coyle said, but a bleaker diagnosis since “those nerves have been pulled on for almost 30 years.” Only 48 hours after surgery she was allowed to take a couple of steps in a harness, and she’s been fighting her way back into the saddle ever since. In terms of her riding, Coyle has lost sensation on the inside of her left leg. “I can use the muscles, but I can’t feel them, which is kind of a weird thing. I can look down and know my leg is working but can’t feel it on the inside,” she said.

Keeping her heel down stresses the nerve that runs from the bottom of her spinal cord along the outside of her leg to her foot, so her foot goes numb. Coyle said since April there‘s been a lot of physical therapy and managing what symptoms will be permanent and what will not, including the damage to that nerve. After waiting six weeks after surgery for her incision to heal, Coyle was back in the saddle, starting with a few minutes on a walking hack and increasing from there.

Trainers Jennifer Hansen and Tami Masters of Starfire Farm in Lakewood, Washington, have had to change their coaching style a little for Coyle, who doesn’t always know where her foot is and needs to be told. In June, 10 weeks after surgery she was back in the show ring doing the .75-meter jumpers on Westley, and by July the duo had moved up to the .90s. At first she had to dismount using a mounting block.

Coyle can do most things by herself, but fiancé Trevor Christensen makes sure she doesn’t lift anything heavy like a tack trunk, strictly forbidden as she’s not allowed to lift heavy items, and makes sure she doesn’t ride any crazy horses.

The Hit Air vest is a confidence booster for Coyle. Her only fly in the ointment is that Westley, post recovery from a bout with EPM, finds it harder to be careful over the even bigger fences that Coyle would like to return to. So she’s casually looking for another mount that will take her to a higher level. She’s not one to sell horses, and likes to keep tabs on her former mounts. She still keeps up with Harrison, who totes people around on the Penn State equestrian team where she donated him and Hershey, who teaches lessons on the East Coast. And she also plots buying a pony for Christensen’s 3-year-old son.

As she looks to the future, and to bigger fences, Coyle’s medical saga and her return to riding and competing mean that it’s been “an interesting journey, that now feels exciting,” now that she knows she can continue following her dreams in the saddle.



Braidwood Events

Braidwood Show

Come along to the Braidwood Show and enjoy various amounts of entertainment including fun rides and activities for the kids, horse events in the main show ring, pop-up stalls, judging of artwork, baking etc. and MORE! 

ADMISSION (inc. GST) - Adults $10, Family $25, Concession card holders $7, Children 6 - 14 $5, Children under 6 free.

A FREE SHUTTLE BUS runs from Braidwood Post Office to the Showground departing 10.00am, 12.00noon, 1.00pm, 2.00pm and 4.00pm.

Due to OH&S regulations no car parking will be available around the show ring. Horse Stalls are available for the Show ($6.00) and Camp Sites ($8.00) - prior booking essential.


Braidwood Rodeo


Local Nature & Wildlife Happenings!


We hope you had a Joyful January, and we really hope to see you soon! From Helen, Rob, Laura, Sarah, Blake, Dexter, Carson,Victory, Champ, Abbey, Cadie, Callie & Eddie xoxox 

1040 Bombay Road Braidwood, Ph: 0417 456 093, E:,