about the galloping housewife
Shiwon Green is an ordinary middle-aged mother of two extraordinary (mostly in a good way) young adults, married (mostly happily) to a ginger, protected by two designer (expensive mongrel) dogs and owned by an unbalanced cat. She runs two successful businesses, has ridden at international level for her country and still rocks a flash frock.
She is probably the least successful half decent rider New Zealand has ever produced. An abject failure at eventing, she spent a year in a showjumping yard in the US where she was laughed out of the arena on her first ride. On returning to New Zealand, nearing middle age and embarking on parenthood, she thought she’d do the sensible thing and give dressage a go. Her first dressage horse was a 10 yo Stationbred with a world class spook. Together they defied all expectations to progress from Novice to the International Grand Prix arena, managing not to win a single notable trophy on the way.
Shiwon’s next horse made the trip to the UK with her and as soon as he started scoring in the mid 70’s at small tour level, blew a suspensory and never returned to top level competition. Third time wasn’t to be lucky either, with Shiwon and her first fancy European warmblood being the first kiwi combination to qualify for the World Young Horse Championships with a score of 88%, only to go lame in the warm up with an obscure degenerative bone disease.
After losing both of her international dressage prospects to illness and injury she thought to hell with all the doom and gloom and bought herself a ridiculous little Connemara called Percy and together they took the giddy heights of the unaffiliated 80cm eventing world by storm.
She hasn’t given up on her dreams though and she still intends to win at least one dress rug before she quits.
Shiwon trained as an RN straight out of high school and has nursed for 20 years, mostly in paediatrics and A&E.
10 years ago she made the decision to emigrate to the UK to pursue her riding ambitions with her husband, two kids, a horse and a dog in tow. Having never previously run her own business she managed to first to lose her entire life savings and almost drown in debt until she figured shit out and she is now the owner of two successful businesses.
In her spare time, she does stuff like water skiing and hiking and has been known to run under duress. She loves good food and great wine and is partial to a wee dram (or six) of whisky.
There’s a whole bunch of other weird facts, like being the first New Zealander born in South Korea, periods spent milking cows for a living, a season throwing bombs and swinging underneath helicopters just so she could ski for free, a stint on a reality TV show, summers spent at sea on a variety of yachts & launches, a year as an undocumented worker in a showjumping barn in upstate New York, a year living under the Hostile Environment (not related) and the time when she nearly vomited on a sitting British Prime Minister (also not related).
She currently lives somewhere in Scotland with her husband, the one remaining mostly housetrained teenager, the two ridiculous dogs and the fluffy white cat.
The galloping housewife began when Shiwon started to be approached for advice on staying motivated and realising ambitions in sport, family, health and business, despite maturing age and lack of talent, money, time or energy.
It was named for a group of women who used to gather at her farm in New Zealand to ride with a regular visiting clinician. Despite ranging in ability from happy hacker to international competitor, in occupation from unwaged to CEO, in background from modest to ostentatious, these women found they had more in common than not. Tongue very much in cheek, they called themselves ‘galloping housewives’ as they supported and cajoled each other and generally put the world to rights.
It is this energy that the galloping housewife calls upon as she reveals the superpower in the ordinary for every galloping housewife.
It’s not too late to dream. It’s not too late to grow. It’s not too late to learn.
You are capable of so much more than you know.