Self-taught winner lives to ride
ON HER Emerald family farm, Tiffany Walter helps grows cotton, hay, and grain, and raises cattle.
Then after work, she trains award-winning Western show horses.
Tiffany Walter has appeared in several horse and riding magazines, with one, the Western Horse Annual, describing her as "the queen of Western riding".
"I was riding before I could walk," she said.
Tiffany harnessed her skills on her mum's horse at just 13 years old, before securing her own steed and performing in local shows in Capella.
But growing up in Emerald, training resources were scarce.
Aside from some clinics here and there, Tiffany had to research online and try everything herself.
"There's no one else around here who does what I do," she said.
"Them majority is self-taught. I just rode at home and learnt myself."
Lacking much professional support, Tiffany decided that her horses would perform barefooted, which saves her the cost and time of finding a farrier.
"Barefoot performances are very, very rare. But I learnt how to trim the hooves properly, so now I save some money, and I believe it's healthier for the horse."
Tiffany's closest equine ally is CP Love Me Tender, or Powderpuff for short, who has led her to multiple state and national championship victories.
"This year's been good," Tiffany said.
"These days I mainly do big shows - four to six a year. Every one I win, I'm more proud, because my hard work has paid off."
Tiffany thanked her mum, dad, and brother for giving her essential support throughout her career.
"There's no way I could do what I do without my mum," she said.
"And my brother and dad love the farm and look after things while we're away. It's a team affair."
Tiffany's mum Debbie, who inspired her daughter to ride in the Western style, said proudly that Tiffany's success was her own.
"I'd rather watch her than ride myself," Debbie said.
"There's nothing better than to see your child's natural talent develop, and to support them."
But farmwork and and horsework is a fatiguing assignment for Tiffany, as is finding a balance between them.
"It's a lot of hard work, especially in the heat. It does get very tiring, and you have to be self-disciplined."
"There's never really a break: when the show season's up, you've got baby horses to train for next year."
Despite having a truncated social life and little spare time, Tiffany is happy with her daily routine and its proven promise of earned satisfaction.
"I absolutely love it. There's nothing else I'd rather be doing," she said.
"It's what I live for."