When you love what you do, you find a way to make it work, such is the case for Nicole Roberts. For the last few years Nicole has been living in a horse trailer parked beside the paddock she rents near Port Waikato, New Zealand. Nicole has sacrificed the pleasantries of lifestyle to pursue her passion for horses. This week she competes in New Zealand’s coveted Horse of the Year Championship.
Nicole will be riding her Thoroughbred/Clydesdale mare, Vanillees Bling Bling, in the saddle hunter classes. Roberts is a self taught competitor who could not afford lessons so she divined unique ways to train Bling and improve her own riding skills. One ad lib solution is to park her car in the pasture so she can check her posture in the reflection of the windshield.
Nicole’s riding efforts are supported by a few sponsors and many horse friends. One sponsor provides transportation – the loan of truck and float, another provides financial support – entry fees and show expenses. A horse friend has loaned her a leather show saddle.
“It’s been a lifelong dream, but I’ve never had finances good enough until now…coming from where I am, I never thought I’d get there,” Nicole said.