Profile

Queenslander born and bred Emma Flavelle has spent most her life while in Australia living and working on Sunshine Coast.

Like most young girls Emma simply loved horses and eventually the continued nagging to her parents was successful in gaining her first horse at the age of 12.  Venturing out to Pony Club each weekend she had a taste of all the different equestrian disciplines. Her horse was proving to be more talented on the flat rather than over a fence and it was at this time when her interest in Dressage was born, leading to many state Pony Club Dressage Championships and winning Arabian Horse of the Year three years running.

After leaving school, Emma completed a double diploma of Business management and HR management, whilst working part time with Linda Schmerglatt, a very successful Grand Prix Dressage rider and trainer.

Although being very diligent with her studies it was a career with horses that she wanted to progress most and as soon as she had completed her studies, she did just that changing from part time to a full time working student and employee with Linda.

It was Linda who saw the enormous potential and natural ability in Emma’s riding skills and knew to ensure that Emma was going to reach her full potential she needed to go to the Worlds Dressage Hub, Germany.  With Linda’s help and contacts Emma headed over to Germany to start her first position within a Dressage barn.

Slowly learning the language and way of life within a German Dressage training stable she started to gain more confidence, meet new people and contacts which lead to more opportunities and positions throughout Germany.

After riding, training and competing for about 12 months, in which time she had ridden a countless number of horses, Emma wanted nothing more but to bring her horse Northern Meara to Germany, as she believed that Meara was just as good as or even better than some of the successful horses currently competing in Germany.

Emma came home to Australia and immediately started to work hard saving every cent until she had raised enough money to go back to Germany, this time with Meara.

Emma was only 21 when she embarked on her second tour of Germany.  Starting as head rider in a very good privately owned stable in the south of Germany, Emma was able to again ride and compete many horses for the owner.  She was also able to compete her own horse, which was a dream that had come true.

Gaining more and more competition experience she moved to Hamburg, working with Joern Kubelke (leading rider for the Verden Hanoverian Auction) and then onto Westphalia where she based herself with Princess Nathalie Zu Sayn Wittgenstein.

Emmas time and education with Princess Nathalie was invaluable.  Princess Nathalie is an Olympic bronze medallist and winner of many prestigious Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special competitions throughout Germany.

Moving back to Australia in 2006 Emma built up her business riding and training horses. Her clientele grew quickly and her work load increased dramatically, loving every second of her work, she finds inspiration in her teaching and seeing her students excel in their own pursuits.

Emma tries to go back to Germany each year to ensure that she is maintains her skills and techniques as well as taking advance of the international trainers that come to Australia. Emma believes that Dressage is a sport of discipline, where there is always more for you to learn and better yourself in.

As the sole rider of the horses that she trains and takes in for training she aims to make each horse as easy to ride as possible. She works a lot on the suppleness and establishing the absolute correct basics. Emma is not interested in the quick fixes or training the tricks, she cares for the horses that she trains and wants them to be successful for the longest period possible.

Emma has a petite frame and therefore cannot and really does not want to ride through brute force, instead choosing a training method based on reward, enabling the horses to respond the most positive way possible.

As a rider she loves riding young horses as much as she loves riding the upper level horses. She aims to have seriously competitive young horse at the Bundeschampionate and World Young Horse championships as well as to continue training and riding to Grand Prix level.

As a trainer, Emma empresses upon her students to take the time to learn the horses language. Understand how they think and how they learn, their behaviours and body language. She works to ensure that her students understand the feeling of throughness and connection.

Training her first Grand Prix horse Northern Meara from 4yo to Grand Prix placing 4th at the Australian Championships in her first season at Grand Prix and winning the Grand Prix CDN at the sydeny CDI is Emma’s personal greatest achievements.

We all know that there is so much more to come.