Hello, I'm Stef Winwood,
and I love to help riders regain their riding confidence and ditch fear and nerves in the saddle, for good!
As a rider, breeder, coach and ex 'nervous nelly' myself,
I know how debilitating and frustrating fear and nerves can be, especially when they are robbing us of enjoying our pride and joy - our magnificent horses!
After a life changing accident in 2014, ontop of my injuries, I was suffering from PTSD, and this was negatively effecting all areas my life, from my work to my relationships and my riding.
Do you call yourself a confident courageous rider?
If not, that's ok - in fact its so normal! Sadly its estimated that the majority of amateur riders struggle with nerves, despite it being our favourite passtime - and that's a really cruddy statistic that I am on a mission to change!
I've been involved with horses nearly my whole life, first in New Zealand, then Europe and now Australia.
Going from the Hunting fields and starting and riding station horses in NZ, to suddenly finding myself working at the Ecole D'Art Equestre (School of Equestrian Arts) in Switzerland under great riders and horseman from Zingaro and La Academe Equestre, it was a steep, but very exciting learning curve!
I returned to the Southern Hemisphere with a love of both classical equitation and natural horsemanship, but more than a bit obsessed with ethical horse management, riding and horse keeping.
Since moving to Australia, alongside my corporate career, I have been coaching riders for 15 years, and have been extremely lucky to find the most amazing coaches myself, in particular Nell Marshman (A Level Dressage Judge, and Coach extraordinaire) and Natasha Althoff from Your Riding Success and the person who introduced me to NLP.
Now I am a qualified NLP Practitioner myself, and I believe that this is the most powerful tool to help riders just like me ditch their fear and nerves, leave behind mediocre results and really truly FALL IN LOVE with riding (and life!) again!
Why Courageous Riding?
For me courageous riding is about so much more than confident and fearless riding.
Courageous riding is about confident and CONNECTED riding. It’s about building and growing your partnership with your horse beyond your current horizons. And its absolutely about understanding that the horse is a thinking, feeling, sentient being and that ethical horsemanship, riding and horse keeping is the courageous next step for us on our journey.
Its about being part of a movement, and I don't promise to have all the answers, however as with any movement it begins with us boldly taking the first step!
The step I am taking is to always be asking “what’s in it for the horse?”
It’s not about judging other riders or horse owners, but SUPPORTING, encouraging and educating other riders to rise, alongside us.
Sidekick extraordinaire Sprocket
Hi, I'm Sprocket and it's my job at Wedgetail to guard any and all of the birds and their eggs from wandering horses, foxes, kangaroos and the odd monitor lizard. This is especially helpful for the ground nesting Pluvers in the middle of the night when the humans are trying to catch their beauty sleep.
I'm called Sprocket for two reasons, first I look like I put my paw in a power socket; and two, I absolutely adore to 'sprocket-launch' off things from great heights.
I look forward to welcoming you very enthusiastically when you come to Wedgetail!
Apart from spending my time looking sexy for all the ladies at Wedgetail, I love to work and train, so you will probably see me demonstrating something for you soon.
Mum says I'm the best student and teacher that she has ever had - that's why she calls me her heart-horse.
I love to try my absolute best, but I have a keen sense of fairness - I need my rider to pull their weight - a partnership is where we both put our best hoof and foot forward and its the way to keep me motivated and happy!
See you down at the yard, bring carrots?