Elise Edwards-Smith has become a key part of Donna Smith Eventing and has brought a wealth of experience to the team.

Elise is the general organiser and manager of DSE and the horses.  She manages the lesson bookings, the administration &  she organizes the DSE horses feeding, shoeing and health program.  She plays secretary for DSE events & clinics, and when Donna is away teaching she works all the horses and day to day running of the yard.  She is the chief cleaning fairy and she’s pretty damn good XC on-lining the horses on the lunge (a very important skill at DSE). PLUS she and Donna run the farm and they both ride full time and compete on some very lovely DSE horses too!!!  “Life is busy, though we love it that way”!

A quote Elise has said many times ….  “I admire Donna’s incredible horsemanship and am growing every day as a rider and trainer of horses under her eye” 

Prior to meeting Donna, Elise has spent her career in Management.  Her most recent management role was within the Health industry managing a Physiotherapy business for 16 years in Auckland. Being also personally trained in Sports Massage Therapy and Equine Sports Bodywork, Elise has found the combination of these skills to be indispensable at DSE. “Understanding about a persons and also a horses conformation and movement enables me to spot discomfort issues early. I have noticed that muscular injuries can sneak up little by little. Picking up the issues and treating them before they become a problem is really important.”

Elise has a very good eye for a horse and has produced several top horses herself in recent years. DSE Quantico, her talented 3* eventer that sold to Australia was broken in by Elise and then produced by herself.  5* Eventer DSE Mr Hokey Pokey was started by Elise and her daughter Dani, and she also produced DSE Mendoza to 3*, he is now with Donna at 4* and a jumping machine aiming for 5*. DSE Sagacious was her latest top horse that she took through to 4*.

“Two really important things I’ve learnt from Donna as my coach and mentor… Hot horses need to go with a lot of leg and lazy horses need to go without any leg!!!  You need to 100% trust and respect your coach and then with that knowledge in your head then learn to ride what you feel at the time.”


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