If you have ever visited the Pretoria branch, it’s quite likely you would have met the upbeat Lize in-store. Her easy-going nature makes it easy to find conversation and naturally, it finds its way to horses! A passionate equestrian herself, it has been easy to work hard whilst in a field she loves, and with that, her career path at Western Shoppe has blossomed.
She has progressed from Sales Representative to Saddle Fitter, and most recently she has taken the lead as Pretoria’s Branch Manager.
Treat everyone with kindness and always be open to learning. You can learn so much from other people, whether you expect it or not. You have to grow in life – so listen and learn!
I started riding at the age of 16. I always loved horses but my family lived in a small town, there were no riding schools. When we moved to Pretoria, I said to my father “It’s time!”, and I’ve been riding ever since. I am a Dressage rider. I have jumped in the past, but Dressage is my passion. I have my own horse (pony actually!) and I’m a Level 1 Dressage judge, although I don’t have too much free time to pursue judging.
In my earlier days at Western Shoppe (before I was a Saddle Fitter), I was very involved in SANESA shows too.
Highover Mark Almighty, the pocket rocket! He is a 14.3hh Welshie X schooled to Medium level. My red head has big personality. His quirkiness is so lovable… my heart horse!
I’ve been involved with all sorts of equestrian activity since I started riding at 16 years old. After studies, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the Equestrian industry and the Sales Rep position opened up at Western Shoppe. The timing was right and I was fortunate to get the job. It really helped my passion for horses grow even more and it was easy to work hard! I later stepped into the role of Saddle Fitter after an apprenticeship period, and in the last 12 months, I took over the role of Branch Manager. I absolutely love my job!
I absolutely love the interactions with clients. You build great relationships with people who share your passion, and it’s rewarding seeing them leave with a smile on their face.
As a Saddle Fitter, I fit new saddles but also maintain or fix the fit of existing saddles. When I fix a saddle, I see a moment where the horse and rider find unity again. It is so deeply rewarding to know a difference has been made, and that the horse is comfortable again.
A few tips for newbies who are looking to purchase their first horse:
- When you have found a well-suited horse, do a basic vet check.
- It’s important to take your trainer with you when trying horses. You need skilled eyes on the ground!
- Take your time when buying a horse. Patience will pay off.
It’s far too difficult to choose one! My absolute favourite brand has to be Ariat. Footwear, clothing, accessories…you name it Ariat, I love it! All Ariat products are excellent quality, very well priced and the brand puts a lot of attention towards technologies that improve rider comfort and performance.