Be the Smashing Equestrian was started and developed by two friends, Stephanie Kennedy and Naomi Howlett-Avery. Both women have a passion for helping equestrians of all levels and discipline, fitness and well-being.
Growing up in Germany, Stephanie started working at a Trakehner Studfrom the age of 11 and has been teaching for over 25 years now. Arriving in New Zealand 25 years ago and working on a farm near Raglan, she decided to stay and has owned and bred horses here ever since. In 2009 she started SpiritRides, a Riding and Vaulting School near Raglan. Having sustained a few horse related injuries herself, she sought the help of a PT and gym and met Naomi. Together they increasingly noticed the many roadblocks students find themselves at. "Usually they are a combination of lack of strength, flexibility, fitness level and mindset", says Stephanie.
Naomi also has a background in riding starting when from when she was just three, going where her mum and dad went on their farm. It was eventing and riding race horses that she found that although she was riding every day she felt she still needed that extra strength and endurance to race ride.
Naomi studied to become a personal trainer while in the racing industry and after having kids decided it was time to put that knowledge to use. She has been working as a Personal Trainer at First Place Fitness for 2 years and her passion is getting Mum's back to the fitness level before baby and supporting them in their goals.