TOGETHER AS ONE: Kristy Smith, 11, on board Slim Dunnitt at the Calliope Sliders Club.
TOGETHER AS ONE: Kristy Smith, 11, on board Slim Dunnitt at the Calliope Sliders Club. Ebony Battersby

Camaraderie key to reining club's success

SYNERGY between man and horse is the drawcard for members of the Calliope Sliders Reining Horse Club - but it's the camaraderie that keeps them coming back.

Kristy Smith is the 11-year-old daughter of the man behind the club - Ed Smith.

She loves waking up each day knowing the hours ahead of her will be holding the reins of a horse.

"I love everything about being in the club," she said.

"The horses, the people, the challenge."

It is a little more than a hobby for the Smith family, with the sport of reining becoming a steadfast tradition.

"It's more than a club, it's a cult," laughed founder Ed Smith, who has been riding since the tender age of one.

"We camp together, travel together, learn from one another. Most come to learn about horsemanship and manoeuvres, they stay because they love the group."

The Calliope Sliders Club is looking down the barrel of a packed agenda for 2015, with local shows, clinics and an influx of members highlighting the need for more sponsorship.

Ideally, the construction of an indoor arena could see the club retain the majority of events locally rather than incurring additional travel to Bundaberg.

Lisa Tietz, an original member of the club, says the progression of the club so far has been largely due to generous sponsors, but an indoor arena was the final hurdle.

"In summer, it is just too hot to ride throughout the day," she said.

"Most of us would love to be able to."

Anyone interested in joining the club, regardless of experience or age, is invited to contact Ed Smith on 0404 465 280.



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