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Team Joyce - Introducing Sarah Joyce

Welcome to the Beginning of Team Joyce
The first chapter of many ...
Team Joyce started long ago, Sarah was 2 years of age and Tiffany only 7 months old. Wes and Trish ran a riding school and gave riding lessons every day, even holding holiday camps over the school holidays. 
Introducing Sarah Joyce ...
Wes gave all the riding lessons and Trish offered theory instruction. Sarah, at only age 2 would join in on many beginner lessons following the last rider. The result being that the name “dad” soon left her vocabulary, and all she called out was “WES“. This lasted until we left the riding school! 
Sarah’s first pony was a little white mare called Emily, she was 12hh and really far too big to ride by herself, so we were on the hunt for that perfect beginners - a very small Shetland. Lucky for Team Joyce Trish’s Uncle Henk (a horse enthusiast who had inspired her amongst horses her whole life), had a family Shetland perfect for the job and Brooke Dobbin had just finished using him. An 8hh, 14 year old pony named “MIDGET”. 
Sarah Joyce holding Emily
Sarah holding Emily ©
What a gem he was, and every parents dream pony, he was so very gentle, patient and quiet (check out the video for proof!). Sarah was very quick to start riding by herself and wanted to do all the tasks related to riding and caring for him all by herself. Wes and Trish were so very proud of Sarah’s enthusiasm to try so hard and not ask, unless it was absolutely necessary. 
Sarah and Midget hit the local paper just after her 3rd birthday
Sarah and Midget hit the local paper just after her 3rd birthday ©
The tack was all far too big because back 20 years ago one could not just go and buy a tiny child’s helmet…yes one could get a pony pad with clogs but Team Joyce did not splash out on all the fancy gear. The team decided to wait to see if the passion would last! Well last it did, Sarah continued riding every single day, Midget was saddled up in the morning and un-saddled at night. He had his own stable next to a stallion and they were also best mates. Sarah started to learn how to clean up poo from the stable, feeding and rugging Midget!

Here a few Q & A’s to help you get to know Sarah even better ... 
How long have you been riding for? Since I was 2 years old
Favourite thing about riding?  The feeling you have when you put hours of time and work into preparing your horse for a particular event and you come home all smiles after you have achieved your goals. Going to horse shows and meeting/catching up with all others who have the same passion as you!! Horses! Working with my family as a team both at home and at events!
How long have you been showing jumping for? Since I was 3 years of age, my parents helped us to ride every day and almost all day. The pony was saddled in the morning and put to bed last thing at night. Our dad even gave us a flat and jumping lesson from the very beginning, he would run after us on foot to help our pony go fast enough to jump! Because my parents started with a riding school when I was small, I would join in on the end of as many lessons as I could, this would make my pony go faster because he loved to follow!.
What is your favourite showjumping event? Top Score because you can make up your very own course design and try to be the fastest competitor accumulating the most points.
About a Top Score class: This is a course set up with obstacles that have a number value on each of them. Like 20 , 50, 150 points and one jump is called the JOKER and can sometimes be worth 200 points. This jump is obviously the most technical jump to clear but if you have it down some rules say they take those points OFF your total score. You are given 60 seconds and you have to go as fast as you can and clear as many jumps trying to obtain the highest score. Remember there is NO set direction, you as the rider make up your very own course so in this design one needs to have some thought in where you want to go to save time and accumulate the most points.
Do you have a favourite horse in your entire riding career? Irish Apollo, LH Folly and currently LH Albert are my most favourite competition horses and I cannot split them, but I do have a favourite International Competition horse named: Sapphire ridden by McLain Ward, a chestnut Belgian-bred daughter of Darco (which is in Oaks Volta’s breeding as well)  and I think she looks honest, clean and easy to ride. Sapphire is now retired at the age of 17 years and she will be bred in retirement.
What are your objectives for 2013? Because I have now re-located to Wagga Wagga, I would love to try and see if LH Albert can come and stay with me up here while I attend University. With the help of my parents of course I would need a car and float so I can take myself and LH Albert off to ride with other people and even compete in Showjumping competitions here. I am settling in my new surroundings during the first Semester and hope by Semester 2 I will know where I can agist my horse and start enjoying riding again.
Do you have any Olympic or WEG ambitions? My ambition for the future is to be able to look after myself and have my own property and horses. I have studied consistently and not taken a break and have finally achieved the degree I dreamed of getting into since Year 9. Finishing my degree and then working in it and doing well for myself is my dream for the future. Horses and riding are my first choice and I think I will always ride something, I do not think the Olympics or WEG are the highlight for me personally to ride in but to see my dad there would please me greatly!
What are your favourite feeds to keep your horses in peak condition? I need to know that the feed I am giving my performance horses is of the very best quality. Barastoc is a particularly favourite brand of mine, as they have over 30 years of experience in formulating high quality, tailored nutritional solutions, Barastoc have created a range of products that to meet my horses individual needs throughout all stages of their competition life. In particular I like to use; Barastoc Groom, Barastoc Horse Block, Barastoc Cool Command, Barastoc Calm Performer, Equi-Jewel and Barastoc Competitor
Favourite holiday destination? Hopefully I will do a Road trip around Australia when I have finished by degree.
You can have five people (anyone in the world) who would you have at a dinner party? Mr Darcy, Beyonce, Brian Gosling, Ellen Degeneres and my sister Tiffany of course!
Favourite food/restaurant? I love roast lamb, roast vegetables and anything chocolate!
Hobby, besides showjumping? Learning how to play the guitar, soccer and netball at University.
What do you do in your spare time? Study my University degree and make sure I am up to date with assignments.
Favourite moments? Going to shows as a whole family ‘TEAM JOYCE’, and all of us riding together for so many years!
Hints or words of wisdom? Have a go of all disciplines to see what you like to do Eg: Dressage, games, eventing, showing, showjumping even try polo cross!!
Always start at the bottom and work your way up!! Only go as fast as your horse can go in a jump off and if its fast enough you will win, if its not someone else will, that’s the aim of the game… your turn will come if you are just persistent, not impatient!! Every horse and rider goes through purple patches then comes the dry spell, be dedicated enough to ride the waves the ups and downs because the harder you try the HIGHER the rewards you will achieve!
Future goals/aspirations? I would like to try a few more disciplines like Dressage, Eventing and Combined Training competitions on LH Albert  because he is the sort of horse who loves to do everything, he is so bold and brave and gives me a lot of confidence in my riding. I now live at Wagg Wagga and hope to start joining a riding club here and even take myself off to E.A and local club competitions.
Personal training programs or approaches to a new horse, middle aged horse etc? When a horse tries to nip or kick by way of saying I do not want to, do not let them get away with that the first time. Reprimand them on the spot! Make sure they know to respect you and your space. Always reward a horse for good behaviour, they love to know what they are doing is right! Horses thrive on the same routine so do the same things each time like feeding so they are happy! When riding, if your horse does not travel the same, being piggy or ears back while riding, it means something is wrong! Try to know and have a feeling for your horse and recognise, understand when they are hurting and un-happy. Process of elimination begins, always start with your tack, then work your way from their teeth to their feet!!
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