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March 28, 2018 3 min read

In September of 2017, I was sipping coffee at an indoor play centre in Mornington, 25% frazzled, surrounded by over excited toddlers when out of the blue Cassie Palm turned to me and said “Rob’s going to ring up about that horse today.” Me “Wot horse?” Cassie “Niki Rose’s horse Walter. The one he and Mike were talking about on Friday.” Me “???”

Anyhoodle, it wasn’t long before there was a horse on a truck making its way from New South Wales to Victoria. At the time someone asked Mike whether I had gone to ride him first. By all accounts, the conversation went something like this; Mike “No.” Person “What if she doesn’t like him?” Mike “He can do a row of 15 ones so she’ll have to suck it up.” Horsey husband FOR REALZ. LOL.

Walter arrived like a chestnut ray of sunshine parting the clouds hanging over my dressage dreams and the first time I sat on him, I knew he’d been ridden well his whole life. I told Rob he was my HERO, thanked him until everyone was completely embarrassed then popped Walter on the float to take him to his new home at Mitchell Park. 

We’ve been there ever since, living our equestrian lifestyle, eating bits of liquorice and enjoying the occasional champers. Most days, we cruise around the indoor, listening to Nova 100 and bless her, Cassia never minds if you crank it up. It’s all pretty relaxed, that is until I hear it. The sound of a rhythmic, strumming guitar, it floats out of the radio and across the indoor.

No-one wants to stay at home

Nobody wants to be alone

When you come knocking, I’ll be at your door

Errrrrrrrmeerrrrrgerrrred. HALT. KYLIE.

I don’t ever wanna stop

I’m gonna give it all I got

And when they ask me “who could ask for more?”

I lean forwards and whisper in his ear “Walstrasse, that’s our CUE.” 

Can’t stand still

I won’t slow down



And all of a sudden, I’m not 40, Walter’s not 16, we’re not who we are! The MUSIC, the voice of STRAYA’S GREATEST EXPORT, it lifts us up and for a few minutes, I’m Catherine Dufour and he’s Cassidy. There’s a stadium full of people, we’re riding our freestyle to a medley of KYLIE because #liveyourbestlife and #idgaf and also #straya

We’re focussed, we’re fierce, we’re a PARTNERSHIP the WORLD is our STAGE and this is OUR SONG.  

This is where I wanna be, with you

Your arms wrapped around me

And fireworks reflecting in your eyes

This is how I wanna feel

The wine, the kiss, the music reeling

Getting down, riding all the highs

Walter and I canter past the mirrors at C, ride the corner, M to F, medium canter! Walter is soft in the back, even in the contact and I watch his little chestnut ears, they’re pricked forward and together we fly down the long side of the indoor.

Can’t stand still

I won’t slow down

I close my legs and feel him come back to me, bounce, bounce, bounce. Between F and K, I collect the canter and he’s waiting, because it’s almost time. It’s almost time for tempe changes and changes are Walter’s PARTY TRICK.


I look across the diagonal at M. One, two, three, CHANGE, two, three CHANGE, two, three, CHANGE. YAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS. Two, three, CHANGE, two, three CHANGE! Walter NAILS IT and SO MUCH EXCITEMENT RIGHT NOW and srsly, can MEZ or LYNDAL or SOMEONE pls ride a freestyle to a medley of Kylie’s greatest hits and bring us home a medal from TOKYO and GO TEAM and STRAYA, STRAYA and YAAAAAAASSSSSSSS and also CALAAAAAAAANTAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

Everybody’s got a story

Let it be your blaze of glory

Burning bright, never fade away

And when the final curtain falls, we could say we did it all

The never ending of a perfect day 

Oh okaaaaaaay, if you INSIST. One more time, F to H. 

Can’t stand still

Won’t slow down


One, two, three CHANGE, two, three, CHANGE! LOVE THIS HORSE! Two, three, CHANGE! THIS IS LIVING! Finally we hit H in right canter, 5 perfect threes in our wake. I’m in two-point seat, the old boy is AMPED, we canter around the indoor, he kicks up his heels and for these last few seconds, it’s London 2012, I’m Charlotte, he’s Valegro and I’m waving our gold medal for the screaming crowd.

We slow down to a walk and even though it’s just the two of us, alone in the indoor, we are TRIUMPHANT and Walter, well you can just DROP.THE.MIC.RIGHT.NOW.

The End