Winter's done!

Wow, we have had a great winter at WIRS, it has been busy with lots of good and great things happening.  We have held clinics , had lots of busy lessons, run a new Grabone feature and continued to get our pony club riders through certificates.  We have also had riders successfully competing at the Waikanae Dressage series and another group supporting the Tielcey Park Combined Training Winter Series.  Winter has passed in a flash. We have bought and sold some lovely horses and ponies to add to our team and we have had some new lease clients come on board.

Looking forward to Spring we had just hosted a Maurice Beatson and Sally Clarke Showjumping Clinic, both top of their game in New Zealand Showjumping.  They need very little introduction.  We have Rebecca Ashton scheduled for a clinic and also Ken Dromgool doing a second clinic here.  Check out our events page.

Ana held a very informative introduction to dressage evening, Sarah Inglis held a "lets learn the basics" evening - very well attended.  We love ideas or events, let us know what you would like to learn.

November will have a Saturday Gymkhana on the programme for our clients . We will also take the truck with horses to the beach with enough interest, going to eventing practice days, please just ask and we will try our best.  We would love to encourage our riders to attend the Onslow Pony Club dressage day on Labour Monday.  Entries need to be in soon so if interested we need to get those in.  We are restructuring our jumping groups, keep an eye on the Facebook page the new details.

  Thank you to everyone and a shout out to our great and loyal supporters, for making Winter such a learning and fun time at WIRS, it has gone by in a flash and now we are looking forward to the rest of the year with more of the same........!

WIRS Gymkhana (Saturday 21 November 2015)

By  Henri Reed 

Published on Facebook November 23 at 9:58pm

Gymkhana Day! The. Best. Day. Ever! Ok, so really it was a fantastic day, in a life that already has many 'The. Best. Day. Ever!' days in it, but this day ranks right up there :-D I was lucky enough to be a helper all day, and just getting to be involved, and a part of the team that made for such a very happy day for so many, is just the best feeling, let alone getting to ride in my first ever Gymkhana.

So what was it like? Well, it was a day filled with really happy people - kids and adults. I think I was the, erm, most mature, but pretty sure I was as excited as the most excited young one too! There were parents helping kids, other adult riders having their first ever go at plaiting manes and tails in their first show too, and some gorgeous very polished young ones and experienced adults who just looked stunning! Like Horse Of The Year stunning. And no matter which group people belonged to, everyone was so supportive and excited for each other, it was just awesome!

It was breathtaking how beautiful everyone looked, be they non horse owning students on riding school horses, or polished horse owners with show experience. Everyone did their individual best for their horses and it was delightful to see the effort everyone made.

Was I nervous? Turns out not at all :-) Those of you that know me, probably would not describe me as the shy type ;-) Anxious not to let Cruise down, yes, star that he is, and that I was lucky enough to ride in my two flat classes. But the biggest thrill for me, hands down, was being confident enough to canter, in a group, with people watching. This from a person who a year and a bit ago, refused point blank to canter on lovely safe old Billy in my first few lessons. What a mile stone for me!

I was so busy helping I almost missed my first class, and ended up with uneven stirrups and cramp in one leg and was so excited to be in the class I hardly noticed it :: I am laughing just thinking about it!:: and I was determined not to make Amy McPake, my wonderful instructor look bad! So Best Paced And Mannered was my first class, and had the cantering in it. Cruise took off like a rocket in trot (which he NEVER does in a lesson!) and I was like EEK! and held him back, and that made my trot was not energetic enough - my fault, but I was totally thrilled when Anna Von Winterfell said our canter was a nice bright one, and well done. I mean, me and cantering - a nice one!?! I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

Next was Best Mount and Cruise was a star, we bended, picked up and deposited jackets, halted, and trotted, and walked through a maze without hitting poles........... and got FIRST EQUAL! My first ribbon and I was excited as anyone is when they get their first ribbon. So much fun :-D

And on to Games where I got to ride the gorgeous Blue! Bending, Mug Shuffle and Egg and Spoon with lots of laughter and lovely people, and a great time was had by all. Such a lot of fun, and in our group, my team won! So another First Place gold ribbon, and best of all? Amy tying it on Blues neck, and the best photo of day? - Me and Blue and our gold ribbon, with Amy, my instructor and friend!

Thank you Amy McPake, Isabella Harley Lana Page and Rosie, the A Team of Gymkhana organizers, Janet Tolo for making it possible, Judith, Mary Anne and Amy McPake three of the judges who worked so hard and were so fair in their judging, and the totally amazing, dedicated, incredibly focused and hard working Anna Von Winterfell who did the most astonishing job of judging the jumping and flat classes, with kind and encouraging words for every single competitor. Just fantastic to watch, a truly magnificent job.

Thanks to Lana Page and Harriet Teichert for taking the pictures and videos so the Facebook Blog of the Adventures Of The More Mature Rider was able to make a VIDEO! So if you have made it all the way to the end of my longest blog ever - Thank You! And my impressions of the whole day? Happy people, the smell of horses, shampoo, hay and sausages, laughter, friendship and a day well spent.

WIRS continues to grow

As the longer days start creeping in we have welcomed some lovely new clients and ponies onto the yard and also moved forward in a new direction with our coaching team. Meredith, Sarah Inglis, Cora, Charlotte, Hannah and Amy now form the WIRS team. Isabella Harley has decided she would like to share some of her skills as well which is an exciting development for WIRS, she will be a great addition to the team. We want to sincerely thank our coaches as they form the culture and the atmosphere in the yard, which is such is a lovely place to be.  They are so enthusiastic and great with the horses. The birthday parties continue to be a hit, and most of our Sundays are fully booked with a group of laughing young

riders! We have started a new grooming & ride party, either lead rein or off the lead for an hour to help cater to the demand. These new parties are a cheaper option so ring about these if you are interested.

Holidays are coming up so again that means another edition of the Holiday Programme! It continues to be a great success with the riders developing confidence around the ponies and learn strong theory and care practices over their time with us.

We have had feedback from a few parents that they would like to see more one on one with the children and ponies during the programme. As this is difficult with the current programme and pricing structure,  we are looking into a new 'own a pony for the day' programme. If you are interested, let us know or send us feedback!

The lease programme is growing at a huge rate, this is a really great option for riders who want the benefits of owning a horse or pony without the other obligations that come with ownership.

To catch-up on horses and ponies on the yard, the lovely Rebel has sold to Jess who was leasing him. We went to Manfield show jumping on an outing and that sealed the deal for her as he was fantastic. We welcome Ka Pai Jack to the yard, what a chilled out pony, Amity will primarily ride him but he will be used as a school pony as well. Toscar has joined us, smart little pony with all the right buttons as well. Oscar has gone home to Terri's to prepare for their exciting plans for the upcoming season. Heloise's horses come and go as well as they prepare for the upcoming show jumping season. Poster boy Puff is in the stable at the front, looking rather large and in need of some work after the winter break. Dude and Squodge have gone to their lovely new property with Mitch and Sam. Mitch is still running the puppy training on Friday nights so we will keep you updated.

We have some training outings planned in the coming months, the schedule looks pretty busy! We will be having some visiting instructors holding clinics on the yard so keep your eyes on our Facebook Page and website for information on these.

We welcome and appreciate your feedback as we really want to keep growing and improving., so feel free to contact us anytime.

Take care, enjoy the longer days. See you soon.

July Update

Well, it’s mid Winter and it’s been a while since the last update! The mud is making me crazy but the shortest day has been and gone and we can start dreaming of long summer days again. We’re lucky the horses are all happy and healthy; we haven’t been struck down with mud rash or any other nasties. It’s almost time to say goodbye to the big winter power bills, so we’re happy!

The events that have been going on at WIRS:

 - We held our first After School Programme at WIRS and it was a great success. There are  things to work on but over all it was plenty of fun and good learning for current and new students. It’s always great to see new faces.

- Birthdays at WIRS are always amazing fun, a huge hit with the children. It’s a lovely way to get a first experience with ponies but really well supervised and run by our amazing team Jess, Lucy and the volunteers. What incredible cakes parents bring along, the volunteers always love to hoover up the leftovers!!


The WIRS Team:

Charlotte is in South America but has confessed to desperately missing Bryn.

Instructors Sarah Jocelyn, Sarah Inglis, Hannah, Amy and Meredith are also doing a great job.

Bels and Amy are always working very hard! Bels has her three equines at the school, two lovely imported horses and Rupert who is NZ bred. Amy has the lovely YumYum and Jack who is a School favourite for our Riders.

A big welcome to Jess who is leasing Rebel and running the Holiday Programme, Ana who is leasing Maddy (the horse) and a switch of ponies for Maddie (the student!) who is taking over the lease on Blue. We have retired Masport who has done enough to earn a long rest. What a truly wonderful pony.

 Heloise, (my daughter and the person to blame for this long standing horse obsession) is back from holiday for the last 10 weeks. She has two of her young ones at the School, please look out for her and say ‘hello’! She is our rock and keeps me fresh with ideas.

For everyone that hasn’t met our new addition to the stable, Bruno, you are in for a treat. He’s a lovely boy but full of endless energy and is destroying everything in sight. Feel free to tire him out for me - I was warned but thought I knew best. Clearly not.

 All in all WIRS continues to thrive with it’s fantastic students and volunteers, we couldn’t do it without you so thank you for all your hard work and dedication.

See you at the stables,

 - Janet

After School Pony Club

We've just launched an exciting new after school Pony Club on Monday afternoons.

What does it include?
There will be riding lessons, theory classes, grooming and afternoon tea - it's a perfect way for your young ones to spend time learning and having fun after school.

WHEN:  3.45pm - 5.45pm every Monday

COST: $450 for the full term.

WHERE: Wellington Indoor Riding School, 507 Ohariu Valley Road, Ohariu, Wellington.   

Give us a call to book in on 04 499 9118.


Note - we will look into expanding to Friday afternoons depending on interest.

February Update

Well it's about time we updated our great students, support teams and everyone else what the last few months have held for us here at WIRS!

We ran a very successful holiday programme where we met many talented and enthusiastic young local riders.  It was an enormous amount of fun and all learnt a lot. We have also put into place a format for birthday parties which seem to be proving very popular.  These are going to be scheduled for Sunday afternoons from 2 – 5. 


We have also taken on a number of schooling horses and owners seem very positive with the results.  For $210 a week including feed and exercise it is very affordable and concentrated on the needs identified by the owner.


Recently we sold on behalf a lovely horse, a great result and very happy parties involved.

Group lessons have been formed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the evening, and Saturday also has some groups going.  It's great to see that the riders are forming some friendships through these groups!

Leasing horses/ponies has been a major hit, please give us a call for more information regarding this - it is very affordable and helps that transition from lessons to owning your own horse/pony.

Come down and visit us any time, we'd love to see riders of all abilities (rain or shine) down at the indoor riding school!

WIRS is open for business!


The new roof is on, the school has been painted, the horses and ponies are arriving.  We are ready to open our doors.

Starting Monday 25th of November we will be booking in lessons, trekking, agistment and arena hire for local and non-local riders.

 We would sincerely like to thank you all for your support and interest, to celebrate our opening we are offering 2 for 1 lessons for the first two weeks.  This is from Monday 25th of November until Sunday the 8th of December.

 You can book a ½ hour or a full 45 minute lesson with our experienced instructors in our new improved indoor arena (so don't worry about the weather).

 To book in, please give us a call on 04 4999118.

It's all go at WIRS

It has been several weeks since our first update and a lot has happened at the Wellington Indoor Riding School since then!

We now officially have a new roof. New infrastructure is being put into place for tack sheds, feed rooms, and a new arena surface  is going in next week. With all these changes it has been a busy time but lots of fun.



Our new residents include three new equines - two ponies and one horse. Jump over to our Horse and Pony profile pages to find out more. We will add more profiles as our growing team arrives.

For those of you interested in hiring the arena for your own personal use, we will soon have an online booking system for you to pre-book. There will, however, remain a priority system for anybody booking a lesson.

Please contact us to find out more about agistment facilities that we will be offering. These facilities will be tailored to meet the needs of your horse and rider requirements.

Riders interested in booking lessons can register their interest here. We would love to hear from you.

- The Wellington Indoor Riding School

It’s more than a new roof.

If you have been out to Ohariu Valley in the past week, you may have noticed the roof being taken off the indoor riding school. This work signals the first step in the transition to new management and a new season of growth for the indoor riding school.

WIRS Roof 1.jpg

 The school will from now be known as the Wellington Indoor Riding School and will be managed by Janet and Amosa Tolo who currently operate another local business the Wellington Feed and Saddlery. This business will also be running from the riding school site in time.

Over the coming weeks you will see not only a new roof built but a full refurbishment of the school and it’s facilities. As well as the facility upgrades we are on a search to bring the best instructor we can find to the valley to teach our local riders.

All of our team at the school can’t wait to get things underway. If you have any questions or comments you can sign up for updates below, join us on Facebook or email us on As soon as an opening date is determined we will notify you via this site and email if you have registered.

Looking forward to seeing you at the school soon,

- Wellington Indoor Riding School Team