A favoured childhood pastime of horse riding blossomed into a full-time career for riding instructor Rose Gough.
A member of the Eastern Suburbs Pony Club since she was nine, Gough grew up on horseback, with fond memories of riding in Centennial Park as a child.
As an adult she was juggling jobs in advertising and as the horse administrator for the Royal Agricultural Society when she started a riding school as a part-time business. The school initially began as a place where owners could board and train horses.
But that changed when the Showground at Moore Park moved to Homebush and the site became an equestrian centre.
"We became a more commercial riding school. At the time a lot of people couldn't afford to bring their horses back in here because it was too expensive, so the clientele changed,'' she says.
"We began looking at teaching people who didn't have the opportunity to afford their own horse, so they just came in on a regular basis for riding lessons.''
Gough owns and operates Moore Park Stables and is an Equestrian Federation of Australia accredited coach.
She has four full-time instructors as well as 10 staff members who work for her part-time at the school. Gough says her instructors need excellent teaching and inter-personal skills: "I really love to see them [students] progress in a manner that makes them very confident horse people.
"And then when those students go out and compete in events, that is a great satisfaction when they do well in competitions.''
Gough herself teaches all standards of lessons and specialises in dressage and competition riding. She is still a regular competitor and has several of her own horses which she shows all over NSW.
"I used to drive to work and think that I must be the luckiest person in the world to have the job I have. I was very lucky; I love horses and I love riding,'' she says.
"These days there are so many opportunities for riding instructors because there are so many riding schools around now -- and you can teach while you are doing your accreditation.''
How to be...
a horse riding instructor
You should complete a Level 1 general coaching certificate through the Equestrian Federation of Australia.
More information, contact the EFA, 02 8762 7777 or www.efanational.com