Sunday, 8 December 2013

A little upbeat introduction to 2014 :)



Let me know if you like it :)

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Page from February 2013. Death in the Rain.

When my dad called to say my grandfather died I was sitting by a huge fireplace in North Portugal, drinking white port wine and chatting horses with a lovely couple from Canada. It was raining outside, this odd invisible rain that soaks you through without you realising. I certainly didn't feel it as I later stood on a stone path staring at the magnificent valley opening up before my eyes and trying to make sense of the words I was hearing on the other side of the phone.

Part of my job at the time was to greet people, make sure they had all they needed as they arrived at the centre, chat with them. It was an easy part for me, I like making people feel welcome and well looked after. It was made even easier by the fact I was dealing with really awesome guests from all over the world bringing their own unique stories with them.

When you look back at life you can pinpoint the moments when turns happen but at the time it starts to twist you only see the minute before your eyes and back then, I just picked up the phone. Do you ever think where will you be when one of your close family dies? Do you ever feel scared at the thought?

Random thoughts like a memory of watching butterflies with my grandfather was what my mind presented to me at the time. My grandfather loved wildlife and forestry. He would spend hours talking about habits of wild boars, wolves, birds, deer; he loved going into the woods and watching everything, reading footprints on the ground. His house was always filled with books about hunting although it seemed like getting to know the animal was more of a fascination for him than the actual act of shooting it.
As my dad and I disconnected the call, I was sure I couldn't go back to the couple inside and pick up the conversation so I walked towards the stables. I remember thinking thank goodness it was raining as the guests would just assume I got drenched rather than I was crying.
The yard was quiet, it was a Sunday afternoon, the time when pretty much nothing was supposed to happen with horses. I didn't want to get spotted by the groom who was there somewhere ready to prepare evening feeds so I went into the stable of one of my favourite jumping horses, sat down on the floor and took comfort from his oblivious presence.

In turmoil of tangled memories I wondered how I could get out of the evening meal which was a big occasion with many more guests to arrive when my boss phoned. As I was gathering my thoughts to say what I had just found out he told me he was not feeling well, he was on way to hospital and would not be coming in for a few days. So I said nothing of my news because my boss not coming meant I was the only person left on site to receive and entertain the guests. And one thing I hate in life is to disappoint people who put trust in me.

So I wiped my face, got up from the floor, hugged the horse and walked back through the rain and into the fireplace room.

The weeks that followed were a mess. There were so many emotions that ran through me then, it was like feeling the pain of my father, my grandmother, my brother, my own. Sounds a cliche, don't pity me, sooner or later every single one of us gets to experience something that shakes our foundations. We were always very close with my grandparents and although I was old enough to accept the life and death scenario, there is never anything logical about the feeling of loss.
My work hours were all over the place back then with many very late nights for many months and early mornings the next day but that crazy, hard, sleepless time oddly prepared me for very testing moments that were to come later...

It's a little under half a year now since my grandfather's death and it's unreal to think how many things happened that would never have otherwise occurred...

The above text is a part of a chapter from the blogbook "Never Give Up"




Thursday, 8 August 2013

Attitude

Before you read this guys, honest warning. This blog is from now on going to be a bit of a waffle about my thoughts connected with writing the 'Never Give Up' blog to book project and life in general. There will surely be horses mentioned but probably not in the context some of you used to come here for. So, for all my training updates please see the Aspire Blog :)

A pond near my parents' place. Nice spot to sit down for a minute, feed the ducks and think

It's 40C in the sun today. Poland became a tropical country this summer. The temperatures have barely ever gone lower than 25C since June and recently fluctuate around 30C-37C. It certainly feels like I've received a decent dose of vitamin D to last me for a long while.
Although I am here out of necessity it is a wonderful occasion to spen
d time with my family. I haven't been around them for any consecutive length of time since 2003 so let's just call it a massive silver lining! Life is such an up and down curve that you've got to appreciate everything good that happens and cherish every minute.
You might think that maintaining a positive attitude when things are not going as we would wish is the most difficult task but from my experience this is not the case. It seems to me that the more I lose, the more troubles I have, the more determined I am to keep hold of my attitude. At times, it's the only thing we can control when other events and life's happenings carry on. The difficult bit is the constant questioning of own actions, the anxiety and uncertainty which can be overwhelming.


Oddly, I have some pathological need to try to help others improve, succeed, achieve. I came to conclusion that if I shaved off the failures from the book, it would just be some look-at-my-great-luck self-publication which would be neither helpful nor would I identify with it.
I wrote a first version of the introduction to the book too and I might share it on here at some point just to see if I am brave enough to post it ;) As I am sure you too notice that generally not many people write about their failures for the simple reason that they are afraid of disrespect. If you honestly share the lows of your career you might come across as a loser so I do wonder if I am not shooting myself doing this.

In present time I continue to search for a yard base (details here) for myself to freelance at and to run Aspire's coaching from. The process will certainly make for some amusing chapters in my little blog-book. Every day I try to find places that might be suitable and get in touch. The responses are varied, let me tell you!

Some people never call back, some never reply, some just say no thank you, some are interested but don't have the capacity to accommodate my idea, some go to some pleasant lengths telling me to... just buy my own yard if I want to have the benefit of one...I do wonder if they treat their clients the same way as job enquirers.

On the days when I get an arrogant, thoughtless reply I think of how many times Harry Potter manuscript was rejected before it made onto the No 1 Bestsellers list ;)

I should probably say I am very outgoing and love cold calling but unfortunately I'm generally a shy person if I don't know someone so contacting all these yards just like that is not such an easy task. On good days, the cheeky replies have zero effect on me and I just plough on but on others they are of course disheartening, I dwell on them too much and they can drag me down.

Thankfully, I also have a restless drive inside me that pushes me on and tells me to learn from each encounter and put it behind me. Another thing that pushes me on is support from total strangers, fellow bloggers, riders and friends who would love to see the Aspire project finding a place to thrive at so huge thank you goes out to all of you!

Until next ramble!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Coming soon...Aspire Video Library

COMING SOON...


I am both excited and nervous about this project, it requires me to get in front of the camera and that’s damn tricky ;) I hope you will share your views, ideas and constructive criticism now and as we go along. I would appreciate your thoughts on it
very much. 

Below are excerpts from full article which can be found on my Aspire blog: 

Are you a grassroots rider? An amateur rider? A pro? Semi-pro?  

To show a lower level rider training in form of Aspire video library has been on my mind for a while now but I’ve been putting it away due to my own camera cowardice!
Talking in front of lenses is definitely not my forte but finally my drive to do something that might be helpful and useful to many more riders than I am physically able to teach in regular way, has won me over.

  There are good few superb video sites out there which I enjoy very much, they are educational and insightful, feature good riders, top trainers and very interesting horses.
You might ask why on earth am I trying to make a video library when such fantastic resources are already available, professionally made and produced. [...]


 GRASSROOTS VIDEO LIBRARY

The videos will follow principles of Aspire Start and Foundation Programmes that are designed to offer rider-centred, horse-friendly and highly effective riding training to those riders who are in the sport mostly for fun, love of horses and physical benefits.

ASPIRE GRASSROOTS PROGRAMMES
The videos will show our way to teach the basics of riding. The Aspire's system is based on classical principles, appreciation of equine and human biomechanics as well as equine behaviour and rider's learning styles. We like to bring many ideas together, mix natural horsemanship with simple science - all for the good of the horse and benefit of the rider. The video material within this section should also be of benefit to grassroots coaches learning to teach or riders who need to address basic skills to progress further...There will be an additional series of "learning to teach" type videos here as well.

AMATEUR RIDER VIDEO LIBRARY

amateur Videos in this section will look at the process of training the rider to train the horse. Aspire Programmes value long-term training plans. Training uses no gadgets for schooling, aims at deeper than earlier understanding of movement biomechanics, equine behaviour, hoof care, saddle fit and rider's fitness. I am looking forward to filming this! The main difference to me between a strictly for-fun riding and amateur sport involvement is passion and a dream...It doesn't matter if you are just learning rising (or posting for US/Canada readers) trot. If you aspire to National championships or Olympic Games we will give you the foundations from which you can reach your dreams...

The Purpose

Aspire's video library, virtual training programmes and regular coaching all have one clear purpose: to equip any novice rider with quality skills and understanding  of horses to such a degree that lousy basics never stop them from pursuing riding dreams. [...]

Read the rest of this article here: http://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/coming-soongrassroots-and-amateur-riders-video-guide-to-quality-riding-education/

Related articles

Friday, 14 June 2013

WIN 2 WEEKS of Virtual Coaching!

Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy white background 4 PHOTOS

Aspire Equestrian has teamed up with Hay Net Social Blogging platform  to offer a fantastic prize for two (+1!) lucky Hay Net members. If you haven't joined the site yet head over for a quick and free sign up.
"Aspire E-Academy is a long distance training based on video footage and online communication. Developed to bring quality affordable coaching with personable 1-1 attention and help aspiring riders regardless of their location, resources or type of horse they ride. All levels welcome from basics, flatwork, jumping to dressage.
Please have a read of this online handout for more details on benefits of this form of training:
http://issuu.com/aspireeq/docs/aspiree-academy/1
Aspire E-Academy is also offering a runner up prize of 50% OFF 1 month Virtual Coaching to use by self or as a gift voucher for a friend, family etc
On top of all this there is a very SPECIAL OFFER OF 1 month of Aspire Virtual Coaching free of charge, send an email to Wiola at aspire @o utlook.com explaining why you would like to receive Aspire Virtual Training and how it would benefit you and your horse and why it is you that should receive the prize. Absolutely any level welcome, any horse or pony, any riding goals!
For a chance to win these brilliant prizes all we need is your answer to this competition question:
How often do you video yourself riding to learn from footage:

a Never
b Once A Month
c Once A Week
d Other: Please write answer_____________________"

To send your answers and be with a chance to win please visit Hay Net here:

If you would like any additional information please comment or email any time. I would also love to hear your views on virtual coaching and online learning in general. Why yes, why not, why maybe :) I started Aspire's virtual programme in response to riders who sought training from me but were not able to attend it due to distance, finances, transport issues, time constraints. The aim is to constantly improve this virtual programme so all your views on online training will be much appreciated.
It doesn't matter whether you ride in a riding school, share, lease a horse or have your own. The trick with the virtual programme is that you make it your own because all training plans are written specifically for you and your situation.
Thank you and hope to hear from many of you!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

New Initiative with Hay-Net Social Blogging Network

Hay Net Equestrian Advice Team: http://www.hay-net.co.uk/haynet-equestrian-advice-team

Hay Net Equestrian Advice Team: http://www.hay-net.co.uk/haynet-equestrian-advice-team 

 A few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to join in a new initiative being set up by Hay Net - a leading UK Blogging network.
The idea was to provide advice and support to Hay-Net members and as I love to be of help to those who want to be helped and I love blogging I couldn't say no, could I? :)
Hay Net Equestrian Advice Team was launched yesterday and I hope it will be a great platform for relaxed, friendly discussion on all things equestrian.

Do come over and join in! If you read this and are a blogger and you have not yet joined Hay Net, give it a go. It's a free blogging network where by posting links to your own blog or by blogging on the site you can share your passion for horses, ups and downs and everything in between.
If you have any horse-related issue you are battling with do visit the Hay Net Equestrian Advice Team. Myself with Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy and three other members of the Team (Amanda Kirtland-Page of ConfidentHorseRider, Fiona Dearing of RemoteCoach and Sharon Kilminster of Kilminster Equestrian) are waiting for you to keep us very busy :)

Click on the link below the photo above to go straight to Advice page- see you there :)

All the best,
Wiola

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Spring Update and new Aspire blog


While details of my trials and tribulations are now going into notes for the chapters of my blog-book, there is not much I can blog about on here without somewhat spoiling the final product ;)
I know that some of you have followed my Aspire blog on the business website and I would like to let you know I have moved the blog to new destination: http://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com Please change your links for the new one and I hope you will join me on there. I decided to take the Aspire wordpress blog outside of the main website to make it more interactive, easier to comment on, share and also much easier for me to update regularly.

New Aspire Equestrian info platform :) http://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/
My plan is to include more of my coaching ideas in the content and hopefully make more amateur/grassroots  riders think about this sport as a team sport (rider + horse) and less of a horse only sport...

I have posted a new post there this morning which readers of this blog might like:

SHOW ME HOW YOU WALK AND I'LL TELL YOU HOW YOU RIDE

"Make a little experiment… Set a video camera running and walk towards it and away from it. Then do the same side-ways. The same jogging and the same “skipping” as if you were cantering on your own feet (you might want to be alone if you are worried about your sanity being judged Then grab a cup of tea or coffee and re-watch those clips with detective-like curiosity. Check for the way you use your joints, the way you distribute your weight throughout your body, the way your hips move (or not!) while you walk and jog. Check which leg you start skipping with, which one pushes, which one carries without thinking about it, how level are your shoulders, is your head forwards or on top of your shoulders, do you carry your rib cage to one side…When you walk, do you lead the movement with your upper body or your hips…These are just a few of numerous elements you can analyse.[...]"
For full article see: 


The Aspire website is also undergoing small changes and will include information on my coaching weekends and virtual coaching programme. I decided to be brave with the coaching weekends and opened it up to pretty much any European location. If there are riders interested further afield I might venture beyond too! 

I value all the feedback from any type of rider so if you wanted to drop me a comment with your views on what is important to you in your training I am all ears (or eyes reading!).

Issuu publications might take a moment to load: 



I am really enjoying the virtual coaching and now that I have made it as a stand alone programme it's even better to run and organise. The riders have sent me some lovely feedback after finishing their first month and I am looking forward to more video training with them. You can read what they had to say Here and Here.

I hope you are all well and enjoying your horses :)
All the best,
Wiola




Friday, 3 May 2013

Re Blogged from: Rockley Farm: Step in the right direction!

Rockley Farm: Step in the right direction!: Its definitely a step in the right direction - well I would say that, wouldn't I?! This week's Horse & Hound has a cover story ...

Thursday, 18 April 2013

One Year Ago Today...



Kingsley - put to sleep 18/04/2012. My biggest failure and greatest lesson. R.I.P. 

Friday, 22 March 2013

From a Chapter: Late March. Reflections. Norway. Virtual Coaching. Planning.

- Have you never thought of getting a proper job? You know, your studies and all... - my grandmother looks at me with her light-blue, watercolour like eyes. Her face small and wrinkled. She isn't being spiteful or dismissive. Tone of her voice is loving, bemused somewhat, suspended between concern and disbelief that someone might indeed seriously consider a future of travelling around and teach horse riding. There is a shy smile on her face and the fact that she speaks quietly tells me she isn't sure if she should ask this question at all.
I leave out the little detail, the fact that I would love to travel even more, teach all over Europe or maybe even beyond, stay at small, shabby stables and big luxurious centres, anywhere where there are grassroots riders wanting to explore and learn.

My grandmother worked in a textiles factory. She spent thirty three years of her life working in conditions that would most probably be considered high-risk nowadays and which certainly did damage her health. Overwhelming noise of machines, fumes, smell of vinegar, hot steam. She worked three shifts, sometimes only having several hours off in between them. She's over eighty now and despite her questions, she believes everybody should do what makes them happy.

Textile Factory, Lodz, 1934

 

When she asked me about that proper job on this snowy March afternoon, just as I returned from Norway where I had a great time running one of my Aspire Coaching Weekends, I waited for a feeling of defensiveness that I used to get when confronted with other people's views on my chosen way of life. The feeling didn't come though. It doesn't any more.

At 34, it's very clear to me, that life is an extremely short affair. It always seemed that way but as time goes by, the infinity loops back at me. I guess it is possible to derive some pleasure out of living to someone else's design but my genetics forgot to implement such coding.

Teaching riding, as long as not done mechanically, is more than "a proper job". Although dismissed by many, I believe the discovery process we experience whilst training, is enriching and fulfilling. When we take time to understand the training process, ditch contraptions we put horses in, give up on training methods that cause pain to both rider and a horse, then the sessions become a self-discovering journey. Even for very young riders.
If as a trainer, you can help a rider to get closer to that fulfilment, you are doing something worthwhile. And that is all that, in my opinion, really matters. In any job. To do something worthwhile.

In my view, riding & training are like books & arts :) Neither is absolutely necessary to survival but both feed those parts of us that are able to give back to life what's most enjoyable: dreams, senses, emotions, passion, dedication, adventure, freedom.

I start telling my Grandmother about my recent work and I can tell that although she listens, she will never comprehend my take on it.

The weekend was a superb experience, as ever in Norway. I love working with people there, there is a lot of hunger for knowledge, for new ways of learning, for different ways of looking at the same thing.
Below are some images from the weekend:

Train arrives to take me from the airport to Oslo centre. The station is tiny and remote so the funky, modern train that pulls in looks completely surreal and out of place. The top of the train says "Lillehammer" - the name I recall from the 1994 Winter Olympics. It makes me smile :)


Oslo. Electric cars, cheerful colours on buildings and much less snow than in the suburbs.


Simba the cat on my many layers. To those who think it looks cold on the photos - it was not that bad. As they say, there is never a bad weather, just a bad choice of clothing. I was well prepared this time and didn't notice the cold at all. Only the ice like crunching of snow under my soles gave away the -19C  that visited at night ;) 


Video analysis in a cute little log cabin/wooden mountain cottage. 


Sunday morning. On way to the indoor arena for in-hand work with the horses.


Yummy, home made cakes! Delicious :) best served with horsey chats ;)  


In-hand work session





Some of the riders in action: 









On the above photo, the 4 year old TB youngster, Red, is being babysat by a racing pony, Naomi. This was Red's first time ever in an arena. In Norway, race horses get normal riding horse education as well as race training. Naomi races too with her young rider. 
I was shocked to hear today that Red fell over on the track this week and fractured a bone in his knee. He is a lovely horse and although he will never race again, I really hope he makes full recovery and is able to dressage happily. 

And finally, Maria (with Fame) who organises my coaching weekends there. She used to write a lovely blog (HERE) but is nowadays rarely seen in the blogosphere. Wonderful host and a great friend. 


I received a really generous feedback from the riders and although it feels wonderful it must be said that without those riders' open minded approach and their obvious enthusiasm for their horses, none of those fantastic moments would be possible.

Now back home, I am preparing the notes and virtual coaching plans for those riders who signed up for it at the weekend. After some reflections on how Aspire training has worked in the last 2 years, I decided to transform my usual online training plans into a separate Aspire Equestrian E-Academy: Virtual Coaching Club.

If you would like to receive more information about it, or if you know someone who struggles with transport/access to trainers and would like to experienced motivational, committed coaching, please leave me a comment (add: "not for publishing" in the comment and I won't make the comment public) with your email address and I will send you full pdf.



Next Mobile Coaching Weekends are coming up also in the UK. The first one will be near London, on the 18th and 19th May. Please feel free to share the below poster with anyone who you think might want to join in. If you have any questions, email any time as per details on the poster.


There is another exciting weekend coming in June (1st-2nd June) and you can stay in touch with all Aspire training activities by joining the Aspire Coaching Weekends 2013 on Facebook or email me so I can put you on my mailing list.

*****

- Yes, I probably could get "a proper job", do something good - I say to my Grandmother and for a moment she looks surprised. Or hopeful. I find it hard to guess - but instead of that Gran, I decided to do something amazing...;)
She laughs and I wonder if she truly got it. But I don't ask.

Disclaimer: Please do not be compelled to quit your jobs (unless you really feel you should) to also do something amazing. Keep your jobs that pay you nicely so you can afford the amazing horsey training... ;) 



Friday, 8 March 2013

Page From The Diary: Early March

I know many of you are still visiting and part of me feels sad to disappoint you with lack of new posts but hopefully, this little update will satisfy some of you :)

Do any of you watch snooker? Have you ever looked at it and thought, hey, if life was like this and I could meet a supremely skilled snooker player aka life advisor, who would hit the right balls for me, I could sip my drink and enjoy the show...I could look at this mess of decisions, actions, things to do, things not to do and all I would see would be a perfectly engineered plan of hits and strokes, angles and light reflections with secrets to tell. 
Of course, life is not like snooker. It's more like joining dots. You start from one closest to you and join the next one and the next one and you must believe that at the end, they will create a picture you want.

My little family-work break in Poland is fantastic so even though I am here to work crazy hours, it feels good to have my loved ones so close.
There was a freak of a weather for a few days, with 15C and lovely, warm sunshine until we woke up this morning to the Narnia outside the windows ;)
Right now, I really don't mind at all, after wet winter in Portugal and so much rain in the UK I am enjoying good old Polish four seasons! Winters are usually dry and snowy with no mud, of course it's cold but there is always something for something.

All my warm clothes are in London so I had to raid my mum's house for her ski wardrobe (it's warm and actually more comfortable than most equestrian branded stuff ;) because in a week's time I am off to run Aspire Coaching Weekend in beautiful but freezing Norway.
I am really looking forward to seeing all the riders again and catch up with wonderful Maria!

Not one to stay still, throughout 2012 I have put together a new format for my coaching weekends so can't just go with stress free mind repeating old lines. It's a good stress though, the energizing type.


I think I finally found a format that will last me for a while but of course, I will continue to make it better and better. It consists of what matters to me in training of both riders and horses, it's fun as well as educational and most of all, it's diabolically effective when at its best! ;)

The Polish version of Aspire Equestrian's website is now ready and awaits second and third proofreading. I've done first round today and I hope I will never ever have to do proofreading for a living because it's a damn tiring exercise!
Here are some screen grabs for a sneaky peak if someone wants to have a look: Aspire Polska website preview.

The spring will be busy too. At the moment, my plan is to run 2 coaching weekends in April and May, in Berkshire/Oxfordshire and near London and 2 in Poland.
The industry here is a little different and it's going to be interesting to see the reaction to the type of offer Aspire equestrian is. We are officially on the road from 20th March...

I would like to share something with you. For a few weeks I was in a gridlock. I had so many ideas and they just kept coming but in the same time, I was paralysed. I didn't know why but it was a complete stand still of mind in one way and frantic overdrive in the other.
At first I thought I had lost sight of the goal or a dream that I've had. But I was wrong, It was not the big goal that went missing.
You know how this saying goes that the longest journey is made by the first small step? That was the problem. I could see the goal very clearly but I was not able to make those little steps.

Once I realised this, the problem was gone...and now I have a new version of two famous sayings...

Dream Bigger than you Dare but Act Smaller than Know You Can. 

Until next time :) More on this will be in my book this year...



Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Page From the Diary: Early February

My birthday came and went, years pass by and although it's a cliché thing to say, I do feel some shifts and changes in the way I look at things, plan things and think of life in general. I hope they are for the better! You know, more sensible and less impulsive with my decisions ;) 

I do miss writing this little blog but hopefully someone will enjoy the now-hidden-from-public-views posts in the future book :) 

The Aspire blog has a couple of new guest bloggers whom you might want to meet: Laura Williams from England and Christine Lien from Norway. Laura is an equine behaviourist and human psychologist whilst Christine is a passionate young rider and an owner of a beautiful Friesian gelding which dressage training have proven to be a real quest...



To read the above posts please hover over a link below and give it a nice, firm click :) 

As you can see I also added a post on Psoas Muscles in riders - it's an updated version of the most popular blog post I have ever written on this blog, having had over 6.000 views. The links and videos no longer worked in the initial post so I re-wrote it, found better resources and posted it to Aspire blog. Direct link is here: Deep Hidden Secret of Good Riders

The Polish "branch" of Aspire Equestrian is very slowly taking shape. I decided to only put it up on the website publicly once I have most details organised so it will take a few more weeks before the materials are ready for publishing. 

For now, I set up a Facebook page for Aspire Equestrian Polska:  


What I can tell you is that Aspire Equestrian structure is now changed and the services will be based on three main programmes: 


The Riding Academy will remain largely unchanged from its current form; the other two will come with full descriptions and their unique features in March 2013! 

I am also really excited to be invited to run Aspire training weekend in Norway again! Some warm winter clothes and furry hat and I am ready :-D

Until next "Page From the Diary". All the best,
Wiola


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Reading Through Own Past...An Experience of a special kind.

Seaside. 2009. 
Putting together a book from one's own blog-diary is an experience of a kind I haven't anticipated. Some things I wrote make me cringe ;) As the book has "Hindsight" chapters which I am writing in the presence and which look at my actions those 5 & 1/2 years later it is really surprisingly difficult journey. I am always of opinion that whatever big mistakes we make in life we should not regret them as at least it means we were trying to do something. However, when one looks back and sees how easily some things could have been done better and wiser, and with less stress and with a better outcome...well. It's interesting. Someone I met last year sent me a really nice email saying that she envies me the ability to make huge changes in my life. If anyone reads this and also thinks they would like to be able to make changes in their lives but are afraid to go ahead, I have only one advice worded much better in the video below:

 

The changes I made myself were far from easy and I wouldn't necessarily always say I made them to "follow my dreams". I prefer to think about my decisions not in terms of way to achieve dreams but way of living the life I really want to live... This unfortunately means being in trouble sometimes. Sometimes it means being on top of the world. Initially I thought about closing this blog once I am fully up and running with Aspire blog but I will keep it going for a while to chat about this Blog 2 Book Writing Experience... Has anyone out there tried to convert their Diary Blog into a book? I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Redirection...:)

Dear All,

As promised, here is a link to where you will be able to follow my further adventures in the horse world alas in a slightly changed form.

Main link: http://www.aspire-equestrian.com/blog/ 

Latest Update: http://www.aspire-equestrian.com/blog/2013/01/from-aspire-office-from-portugal-to-the-challenging-plans-of-2013-overview/

To read my updates look out for posts with "From Aspire Office" in the title. To make sure you don't miss any you can join me on Aspire's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/aspireequestriancademy or Twitter: www.twitter.com/aspireacademy
I really hope you will stay with me on my journey as there are many exciting, brave (border line mad?), determined and persistent plans for near and far future in the pipeline.

I would like to wish all dreamers and planners to stick to what they want to do and never let others tell you what you can or can't do ;)
All the best and see you on Aspire's Blog!



Wiola xx


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day in Pictures


As we didn't know until last moment where we would live at Christmas time we didn't buy a tree or anything Christmassy for that matter. Santa knows I love Christmas trees and all things Xmas so he brought me this little tree :) As it happens we are still at the cottage so it is Christmas time with Pinta :) 


Entrance to Hippikos on 25th December. No vines at this time of year but clear blue sky makes up for it ;)


Dressage yard on the morning of Christmas Day :) 



Getting Sapateira ready for our ride

and off we went to wander around the farm to warm up and loosen up before arena work


...a bit of hillwork



little visit to the jumping arena (yes it does rain here too in the winter, it's just then the sun comes ;) 


 and finally off we went to the dressage arena


 Little mare worked beautifully today, it's been my best ride ever on her this morning. She taught me a lot and I couldn't have wished for a better present than this morning with her.


After the ride. Waiting for me to pick out the arena surface from her feet.


Then my gift for her ;) A few minutes of grazing 


I hope you all had a great Christmas Day! All the best :)