Jo Bard

Discipline: Working Equitation

Jo’s first experience with horses began at a very young age and consisted of riding ponies on her grandparents farm. As a teenager, she moved to the UK where her passion for horses continued to grow and never faltered. Jo worked at multiple international training yards throughout England, Portugal and Ireland, training and competing in several equestrian disciplines, including Dressage, Show Jumping, Hunting and Working Equitation. Whilst in the UK she gained an HND in Equine Studies and her BHS AI in instructing.

It was during her time in Portugal and at a specialised stud in the UK that she fell in love with both the Lusitano breed and the fast growing sport of Working Equitation. Her specific involvement in Working Equitation spans back to 2004, working at specialised yards and competing regularly, including representing Great Britain in 2007.

Upon returning to NZ in 2008 Jo established her own small stud, Mystery Creek Lusitanos, offering breeding, riding, competing and schooling, as well as clinics, instruction and demonstrations in Working Equitation. She has three Lusitano stallions and two purebred mares and prides herself in breeding top quality horses for the NZ sport horse market, that excel in both trainability and temperament. Jo has owned her foundation stallion, Xerife from 3 months old and personally trained him through to top level dressage and masters level Working Equitation.

Jo is a huge advocate for both Working Equitation and the Lusitano breed. She is passionate about promoting Working Equitation and ensuring a good understanding of this fast-growing discipline. She has a full Working Equitation course set up at her stud in Cambridge and is always willing to help others improve their own knowledge or training in the sport.

Working Equitation is quickly gaining popularity through NZ both as a standalone sport as well as offering many benefits as another element of training to compliment other disciplines. 

Over the 3 days, Jo will demonstrate how anyone, regardless of experience or background, and any horse can get started in this exciting sport and progress through the levels. She will also showcase how bringing elements of Working Equitation into your regular training schedule regardless of discipline can enhance both your and your horse’s performance, challenging yourselves along the way and adding in a whole lot of fun.

Key learnings to take away from Jo's sessions:

  • What is Working Equitation - a thorough introduction, including demonstrations by riders of all levels
  • How to get started in Working Equitation and the progression you can expect through the levels
  • How to train each obstacle and overcome the common issues that may arise
  • How Working Equitation can be a useful tool in training your horse for many other disciplines

Brian McVicar riding through water

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