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Rangi Stories – Sally Goldsmith

Sally has a diverse background in sales, marketing, HR, recruitment, hospitality, events and veterinary nursing—but her true passion is all things equestrian. She has loved riding since she first started at just six-years-old, and has spent over 20 years volunteering behind the scenes at local and national competitions. Sally has been Rangi Ruru’s Equestrian Programme Manager since 2021.


A History in Horses

I’ve been horse riding since I was six-years-old, I got my first pony when I was 12 and used to ride around the streets of Cashmere, around the Port Hills and loved going to pony club. In the time since then I have had all kinds of different horses.

I have mainly been involved in the administration side of running competitions and events like the NZ Agricultural Show, which has helped to prepare me for this role. I have been doing that for about 20 years, as well as for my local pony club, Equestrian Sport New Zealand and the Canterbury Dressage Group—which also involves national competitions.

I love seeing stuff done properly and efficiently, and I like these events to be a really fair and consistent playing field for all the people involved.

Horses as Teachers

Horses require a lot of time and love and dedication, but they are really good for your wellbeing—if you’ve had a really stressful day you can go out and chat to and groom your horse. Like with any pets it is great to go home after a tough day to see them. But with horses, you can also get out and ride them.

Horses are a really good leveller, they keep you grounded. Rain, hail or shine that creature is sitting there waiting for you to feed it; you have to make time to get up and feed in the dark. Regardless of your schedule, the weather and anything else going on—your horse still needs care and attention.

I see how the horses help our students learn stickability, resilience, commitment and dedication. There is a lot of satisfaction when you train a horse up and the journey as you work to achieving something together.

Riding and caring for horses requires a certain amount of empathy and compassion in order to be a genuine equestrienne, and it is my hope that our Equestrian Programme fosters a sense of belonging for these students as they are united through a common bond of their love for horses.


Riding at Rangi Ruru

Our equestrian programme at Rangi Ruru is unique in its offering, it has the full range of riding and event options as well as the opportunity to earn NCEA credits in Equine Studies.

Our students take part in regional and national events across polo, eventing, show jumping and show hunter, dressage, mounted games, western and racing.

Students with no prior experience can learn to ride and we help train them in horse care. Students with their own horses can graze and stable their animals near the school, and we offer access to those horses during the school week.

We create highly individualised programmes for each student, working with them at their level to help them achieve their goals in the sport.