Horse Haven Riding Academy and Sport Horse Stud is currently in the process of setting up and preparing the facilities. We are taking enquiries from anyone who would like to know more about the services that we are offering. Please Contact Us for more information.
About Horse Haven:
Horse Haven Riding Academy has been set up by Michelle Lake to help people of all ages, who love horses, develop greater confidence, understanding and knowledge about them, and to teach new skills in horseman.
This is Michelle pictured riding her Stallion Romanoff, read more about Michelle below.
Whether you are an absolute beginner, or been riding a few times or more advanced we aim to help you. We also will be offering courses if you wish to learn more about basic training and starting of young and green horses. Horse care and management also will be taught in classes to suit all ages. Problem solving is also something we can help with, if you are needing help with your current horse.
Learn the basics of horse care and management
Horse Haven is located only 7 minutes drive from Tauranga’s CBD and a mere 2km’s from Bethlehem shops on Wairoa Road at te Puna. Most of our initial teaching is conducted at our house, but once the student shows they have mastered the basics they then can venture through the rest of the property to start some more serious riding and training.
We have a number of horses for riding to suit different people who are at different levels, off course you can also bring your own horse if you wish. Pictured below are some of the horses we have ... (aka the hooves gang). We have both very small horses like our miniture horse called Shorty and welsh pony called Freddy, who are ideal for children, right through to a nice big Dutch Warm Blood cross who stands close to 17 hh and towers over everyone. To see pictures of some of our horses please go to "Our Horses" page.
The Hooves Gang
The property consists of 40 acres of land and there is plenty of room for all types of activities for training and teaching purposes. With a good flat area for all types of learning and training.
Pictured below is Argentinian rider Fernando Rogriguez putting Samson through his paces. Samson is a 6 year old horse shown here on the third day of his jumping training.
One of the best kept secrets of Horse Haven is a few of its bush tracks for riding around and training on... there is nothing better than riding through some good tracks, the horses love it ... everyone loves it. Who would have thought that so close to town there would be some good tracks like this to ride around on. We have created some tracks that go right around the property.
We like to first teach people how to ride and control the horse correctly before venturing out and doing real riding over different terrain, there is plenty of opportunity to ride out with other experienced riders and learn to as you go.. We expect the riders to show a fairly high level of compentancy before riding out like this ... we wish to stress to everyone that we are a "Riding Academy" and not a horse trekking business.
All the riding starts in our round pen and at stables where we can make sure all our riders know the basics or riding before heading out onto the property.
Foxy being trained in our round pen
One of the skills we are offering to teach is how to handle and drive a horse in harness, plus we can offer for the children (and adults of course) rides in the sulky. Here is Freddy our Section A Welsh pony strutting his stuff in his custom made gig, being driven by Mike Hall.
We also are starting a breeding programme to produce good quality performance horses and ponies suited to most disciplines, we have selected a nice horse from proven bloodlines which have come from Europe. With a nice German Riding Pony stallion, we are set to add valuable horses to our communities for the future. This is Romanoff pictured below at rising three years.
We currently do not have any youngstock from this young stallion, but we do have several other young horses and ponies we are training and have bred like Xtra Flash and Foxy Lass pictured below who are happy young three year olds and who are just now starting their training to be ridden. .
About Michelle Lake
Michelle with one of her horses Foxy Lass, just after have Foxy's first ride ... very happy and eagar to do it all again.
Michelle is passionate about Horses and this showed at a very young age. Michelle started riding when she was six years old, having declined the offer of Ballet lessons and said to her mother: “Oooh Yuk, I rather learn to ride a horse” with this Michelle started weekly lessons at a horse riding school in Christchurch and then later in Palmerston North.
At the age of 11 years, Michelle was given her first pony, a 14hh pinto mare who was called Hamish. She soon out grew her and then advanced onto a bigger horse called Billy. He took Michelle every where and they jumped everything in there path winning many prizes over the years. Much fun was had with beach races, swimming in the harbour and more. Billy and Michelle had some good solid dressage and jumping training during these years and were a hard combination to beat.
By thirteen she had two racehorses to gallop and help train before school for pocket money. These were very big strong horses who sometimes got out of control and took Michelle for a very fast ride quite often doing several extra laps at high speed before being able to pull them up, but Michelle was determined to ride them everyday dispite this.
Training and galloping racehorses before school taught Michelle many skills
During the summer holidays Michelle helped round up a herd of horses to select out a dozen for breaking in to ride. This was always great fun as we went and camped out for several weeks, year after year, and got to learn many skills for starting and training young horses. This training was done the old school way. From completely untouched to riding them in the sand dunes at Papamoa Beach within three days or so. Having many thrills and spills was just a part of this adventure. Many times Michelle would be the first on all the young horses, and also the greatest highlight was being given the opportunity to select a horse out of the herd for her self and told this horse was hers to break in and train that summer for herself. There was no greater satisfaction than doing all the training yourself and seeing the end result with a well trained and responsive youngster.
Above is Michelle riding an Appaloosa mare she has bred called Foxy Lass, this photo shows the third time this mare has been ridden. Much time has been taken to prepare this horse for her first ride so she is relaxed and all goes smoothly.
Recent acheivements is taking on several wild Kaimanawa Horses direct from the department of Conservation and training them fully to become great riding ponies. Michelle has taken on numerous differcult horses and retrained them to be good riding horses. Much time and patience is required plus good knowledge and skill to gain the horses trust and confidence.. Michelle loves to teach people to ride and also help people with there horses and has helped many over the years.
Here is Michelle with her horse Starlight who she bred and has trained.
Michelle on her Horse: Chantell aka Silver Belle