Teen shows leadership, community spirit and her love of horses

Chenin Hislop of Two Rocks, shown here with Hero, is a keen dressage competitor and a member of the Woodridge Horse and Pony Club. Picture: Anita McInnes

TWO Rocks teenager Chenin Hislop has a great rapport with horses but for her age also displays great leadership and community spirit.

A member of the Woodridge Horse and Pony Club, Chenin has been nominated by president and chief coach Morag Gemmell in the 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards WA in the regional service award category.

On the day Yanchep News Online caught up with Chenin she introduced us to her two ponies including little Elle, who is just 9.2hh and Polly who is a bit taller at 12.2hh and who has been trained by Chenin.

Then we met Hero – her mother Deanne Hislop’s rescue horse.

Hero was being saddled up for some action shots as Chenin’s new dressage horse Fife – a thoroughbred and Welsh D cross – was spelling on a property in the Swan Valley.

The 15.2hh Hero seemed a little camera shy once he became the centre of attention but he showed impeccable manners throughout the photo shoot.

The 13-year-old later said she only started dressage in 2020.

“I’m not much of a jumper,’’ she said.

She did some hacking for a while but then fell in love with dressage with the technicality and structure of it and how good the horses become, the movement they can get and the swing, the suppleness and straightness they can achieve.

“Dressage means to train – they just become awesome horses.’’

She said dressage could be challenging when a horse was going up a level in training.

This was both her favourite and least-favourite aspect of dressage especially if the horse resisted the extra bit of collection but it was worth it once you got past their reluctance.

But she understood their initial resistance as dressage movements required a lot of muscle work.

Thirteen-year-old Chenin Hislop works her mother’s rescue horse Hero in the training yard. Picture: Anita McInnes

Mrs Gemmell said Chenin created the Woodridge Horse and Pony Club website and updated it on a regular basis as well as producing the monthly newsletter and distributing that through her network to let the equine community know what was happening in their community.

She said Chenin’s leadership qualities were very well developed for a young person.

“Chenin can inspire others to take action, she is an effective listener and excepts feedback from others, she can set realistic goals to work towards these goals and is able to use self-reflective tools to evaluate,’’ she said.

“Chenin is a compassionate young person who has also shown excellent leadership skills with her focus on developing her peer’s skills and her ability to make tough decisions, Chenin is innovative with her ideas and has also demonstrated her ability and desire to serve a purpose greater than herself.

She said Chenin not only participated in her rural community but had also been successful in representing her local community and WA at a national level by being part of the Western Australia Young Dressage Riders Association, was chosen for the WA state dressage squad and was invited to participate in the Penny Hill Park Stud dressage rising star award in 2021.

“Chenin likes to share her knowledge and has had an article published in National Hoofbeats magazine to encourage interaction between younger riders across Australia and promote participation in pony club.

“Outside of the equestrian world, Chenin has undertaken multiple outreach programs at our top universities including engineering and STEM courses at Murdoch University.”

Chenin is also a Yanchep Surf Life Saving Club cadet youth manager helping with the little Nippers.

She has just been accepted into the Maitland Park rising stars program for 2022 – the program is for young equestrian athletes who are competing officially and doing some great things.

Her goal is to in the coming years enter Fife in elementary or higher-level dressage competitions.