WIRS wouldn't be where it's at today without the help of our fantastic, diverse, knowledgable and horse loving team. Here you can find out a bit more about them - but the best way to get to know us is to pop on down!!
We are so lucky to now have the wonderful, knowledgeable Sarah Inglis as a resident instructor at WIRS. We've already had such fantastic feedback from our customers - "After riding with Sarah you feel like the world has been put to rights".
Sarah Inglis has trained and competed horses up to and including Prix St George - Intermediate l level and is a past member of the Dressage NZ development squad.
I was born in 1982 at the Baltic Sea in the north of Germany.
According to my mother, I've been asking to be around horses, when I started talking. At the ages of five, and maybe thousand attempts from my mom to get into a slightly cheaper hobby, I started riding lessons. And I never stopped.
From a lot of bareback pony rides through forests and along the beach to intense clincs, I tried to leave nothing out.
After I read the "horse/pony for sale" section in the newspaper to my granddad for years, he finally gave in and bought me my first horse when I was 12. From that time on, I went to intense learning pony and horse camp with Hans Jürgen Naeve, to achieve my riding certificates to be able to compete at different levels. There I received a great education on and around the horse. Learning about horse and stable management, feeding, video analysis of riding, etc. From the age of 13 I helped breaking in ponies, getting them used to halters, being tied up, grooming, tack and weight on their backs.
I proceeded to train flat work and show jumping with Tassilo Ratjen, Tim Markus and others at a sports and breeding stable. Here I learned a lot about lungeing, pole work and free jumping and how you can improve your horse with different set ups. I then got a chance to ride for two Hungarian Trainers. Again learning new approaches on young horses and different ways of training them up.
In my mid twenties I bought my second horse and broke him in myself. Because he was huge, I worked with a trainer that did a lot of work with me over small gymnastic grids, to improve his skills and dealing with his big body. During that time I started focusing on Dressage a lot more, as I needed better flatwork, to maneuver him through a course.
But I really got into dressage more and more and I trained with Birgit Kühl, who is focusing on the riders position and influence through the seat. I have trained with her two to three times a week until I moved to New Zealand.
Once settled in, I bought a young horse again. I broke him in myself and training him for dressage. When ever I can, I attend clinics with Vanessa Way, who's one of NZ best Grand Prix dressage riders.
I've been working for the riding school full time for the past five years. It's a dream come true. I enjoy sharing my passion for horses and their well being. Getting people at all ages that want to be part of the horsey world. I'm glad to be able to have a versatile schedule. I'm teaching beginner riders to well established riders. My main focus is on dressage, but I am lucky to support our young riders to get started safely and with heaps of fun into their show jumping careers.
I also take a lot of pride in my position as head instructor of our centre membership pony club. Especially at the moment as we are the first ones to run the adult horse management course!
Last but not least I love working with new horses or schooling horses for clients.
I travel with Heloise Tolo to horse shows. We attend both local and national competitions, where I have gained experience I couldn't have gotten anywhere else. Competing Brainy G at Grand Prix level is by far the most exhilarating thing I've ever done, but my passion lies in training and self-progression. Getting regular dressage and jumping lessons from instructors who are experts in their chosen fields always provides me with more things to work on and new ideas to transfer to my own teaching. Studying full time, competing most weekends, teaching Wednesday jump nights, learning how to produce young horses, and breeding my first ever foal definitely keeps me busy and never leaves me searching for something to do.