Richard is the invisible member of Powder Monkey Business.
He does the books, answers phones and correspondence, I.T. support, repairs and maintenance. He also looks after the ladies very well and is exceptionally appreciated for supplying a great home base.
He is not a horseman himself but has a general affinity for and understanding of animals which makes him quite able to be a help with them in their general care.
You probably won’t see him around in the foreground but he is always there helping keep the gears of the business turning. Without him the business would not run as smoothly.
I got into riding as a very little girl. My parents told me that as soon as I could speak, I was asking for my first pony, it only took them a year or so to give in! Through the years, I went from a paddock rider to a western rider, to a pony clubber, which is where I met Allie Booth, and was first introduced to Powder Monkey Business. I was looking at furthering my riding knowledge and get more in-depth into the English riding world. Or so I thought, but after having a few lessons and clinics with Powder Monkey Business, I knew that there was a whole lot more than I originally thought… and I wanted to learn it all! Originally I discovered I was more drawn to jumping and gaming than dressage, I had the idea that dressage was “boring and easy” stuck in my head. Boy was I wrong! Though it was originally through cunning that later digressed to being outright blatant teachings, that Allie showed me how necessary Dressage riding was to furthering my skills and enabling me to actually feel confident and accomplished with jumping and gaming. I now realise how great it is to actually ride Dressage, how fun it can be and how useful it actually is for enabling both horse and rider to better achieve results in their desired profession.
Through the years, my family and I couldn’t afford to get a lot of lessons or do much in the way of shows and comps. So I started doing volunteer work with Powder Monkey Business, which gave me a chance to learn while helping out Allie. I left the horsey world for a couple of years while I attempted to pursue a different career in the office, but found myself drawn back constantly with weekend comps and trail rides, and midnight rides during the brighter moonlit nights. After my old heart horse passed away last year, I made to decision to return to horses full time and commit myself to my initial dream in his memory. Allie then stepped up and asked if I would be willing to come back to PMB and ride for her. I jumped at the chance and have been with PMB ever since!
Working at PMB has given me the skills of being able to read and better communicate with the horses, both young and old, as well as actually improve my riding skills. My improved groundwork knowledge has given me some amazing results. It has enabled me to feel even more confident with handling my own young horses and assisting with bringing on young horses that come through our stables. I like focusing on producing relaxed more confident horses, and feel proud to be part of the team that has the same focus.
Allie Booth has been working with horses since 1974. With a continual obession in improving her horse's, she has a passion for training which has covered many disciplines. From eventing initially, Allie competed in ODE's and 3DE's for many years, before turning to dressage full time. Her horse Powder Monkey has helped her advance up to official Advance Tests and unofficially PSG with the Mudgee dressage group.
As well as dressage, she has returned to jumping, both cross country and showjumping in the later years. A return to the andrelaline of the cross country course has reignited a passion for jumping.
Allie will willingly have a go at any discipline, believing that a horse that is well trained should be able to turn it's hoof to anything at any stage. Powder Monkey, her first part bred Cleveland Bay, is proof of this as he regularly teaches students of all levels, competes dressage, show jumps at 1.2m, and came third in his first ODE, aged 19. He also does a neat and tidy job bringing in slightly feral cows on the side when asked. We suspect that might be one of his favourite tasks.
Allie has trained horses for 35 plus yeas and starting horses for the past 18 years. She believes the best gift she can give a horse is a good start. Horses that are calm confident and approach work with a good attitude are more likely to have a successfull long productive life in loving homes. Helping a horse become happy to co-operate with people and to try for people is a huge buzz!
Allie is happy work with all types of horses, from small ponies and minitures through to the HUGE Shire horses, from OTTB to warmbloods and Arabs. Each type of horse brings something new to learn.
Allie also believes that different owners require different outcomes from the starting process. A horse with a highly experienced owner heading to the showring, needs a different focus to a kids pony or one for a nervous rider. Because of this owner involvement is highly encouraged, especially for owners who may never have worked with young horses previously. Tailoring a horse's education for the rider is a must for a successful outcome.
Problem solving is also very welcome, identifying the cause of the problem is the focus, as this leads to much higher success rates in solving any issues. One of Allie's total favourites is teaching horse to load onto floats.
Allie has always enjoyed teaching. It runs in the family, with every family member at some stage being involved in teaching in their chosen field. Allie's chosen field is with horse's. She teaches with an open mind to technique - "What ever technique is sucessful is the correct one". She has in her repertoire classical dressage techniques, show jump exercises, sporting games and camp drafting movements. She also frequently draws skills from the western horsemanship line and the natural horsemanship side.
Allie started teaching riding many years ago, turning professional in 2004 (prior to that she worked in laboratories as her main profession). She qualified as Senior Instructor with Horse Safety Australia on her first go. As a student, Allie learnt what she did NOT like about instructors, and what she DID like. She likes instructors who give lots of feed back, instructors who explain, who recognise the effort, and also recognise limitations, whether temporary or long term. If a student is trying, then success is a matter of effort and time. And although many students are highly ambitious, some students are happy to be safe out trail riding.
Although Allie does love her dressage, she does understand it is not everyone's goal. She encourages dressage to be functional throughout her teaching. Often to keep you safe on the trail, or to improve power and balance on showjump course, or to calm a young horse who is scared. This applies to riders too, so while Allie loves a student who embraces the technical side, teaching a student to use techniques not to be technically correct, but for safety or to promote a mental improvement in horse and rider is just as important.
Allie has students competing in all fields from camp drafting to dressage to show jumping to eventing and showing. Previous students have gone onto professional jobs as horseman, and horses she has helped educate have achieved at the Sydney Royal and HOTY shows. In dressage she has had students competing successfully at Medium level.
Allie also has many students with high anxiety and has a high level of experience and success in assisting students to develop skills and confidence to minimise or eliminate anxiety where ever possible. Keeping everyone as safe as possible is very high on her teaching list.
Good horsemanship and good riding through out it all is the goal.