Sunday, 12 July 2009

Ok, so decision has been made...and a snippet pre-view of my Project...

Following today's meeting, my Big Little Project has gotten all clear so decision has been made. I am going to invest my time, my current knowledge and passion into this Project. This means lots and lots of teaching and not enough riding. It's my forever dilemma: to teach or to ride? To earn a living or live in the saddle on bread and water?

I had to be brutally honest with myself and if it means I don't have what it takes then so be it. I am not prepared to damage my health by living rough and riding horses nobody wants to ride because they are too dangerous. Part of me admires people who do it and their determination to get to the top of the game but having spent months in hospital in my youth I quite cherish life on my own feet. I have no financial back up to buy and most of all to compete & produce nice young horses (thing I would love to do). Neither do I have my family with me here should I want to try competing on a shoestring. Neither do I have an outstanding talent to be spotted by Mystical Lottery Funding. I am a foreigner so nobody here would ever feel any national pride to do with my hidden Olympic talents ;) Hence, sponsorship highly unlikely!

Let's start from the beginning though so as not to make things too confusing (which can sometimes be my forte;).

Initially I wanted to wait with the decision until after the exam but life as always in my case seems to happen when I make other plans ;) This time in a positive context.
I mentioned not so long ago (post here) about various thoughts on future plans. Due to an unfortunate event that is costing me a small fortune and digs into my savings we can't pursue the initial plans of moving out of London. It took me a few weeks to deal with this without feeling angry but hey, what happens happens and we have to find the good sides in everything.

The thinking behind the move was to make it possible for me to increase own training and go back into competing more seriously.
This being no longer an option I put together many little ideas I've been pondering on for quite some time which resulted in creating a brief/pitch of an equestrian academy project. It's a unique training arrangement project for pleasure riders.

The below is a fragment of the brief I wrote for the owner of the yard where I will have my London/Surrey base. One of the reasons it took the shape it did is that I think there is such fantastic net of support here for people who already own horses and ponies but a pleasure rider, a potential owner to be, a potential top class rider-some-day-in-future, is very much left alone without enough support. Having worked at various places, from big yards to tiny stables, I am starting to see the gaps and reasons for lack of retention of clients so I am hoping to address that while continuing my learning...

[What is the (name to be added) EQUESTRIAN ACADEMY? The Academy is an idea of a freelance riding instructor passionate about the sport, the well being of school horses and riders’ development who wanted to create a very unique training experience for a pleasure rider.

* You may find that an average riding school service of an hour ride-and-go doesn’t suit you and you would want to learn more about horse care and the training of both the horse and a rider as athletes.

* You may be looking for an interesting, fascinating sport to be involved in.

* You may have your own horse but would love to experience a structured, focused coaching.

* OR you may have started thinking about a horse of your own, but are concerned about where to start, the extent of the commitment and whether you are experienced enough to take on such a responsibility.

The Academy gives you a chance to join in a one of a kind experience of FUN, SKILL, FITNESS AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLE while participating in a FABULOUS SPORT.

Joining the academy and how does it work?

The Academy is designed to develop the rider as an athlete via varied, professional and exciting Programme. We welcome riders and riders-to-be of ALL levels from 12 yrs old to 62 and upwards, whether you always wanted to ride but never found a good time to have a go, whether you’ve been riding for years, are a once a week rider or are a horse owner already, please do read on.

Joining the Academy is like having a very special Personal Trainer who not only keeps you fit but also makes sure you have plenty of fun along the way and learn the ins and out of a very unique, fascinating sport where you work in harmony with another living creature.

You will have access to an exciting Training Programme (incorporating both sports specific and generic elements) and Training Schedule written especially for you as well as being able to treat the Academy Horse as if it was your own.

The monthly fee for The Academy is (TBC) per calendar month if joining the 6 monthly Programme and includes the following...]

Full details to follow, all I can promise is that it's nothing a pleasure rider will find anywhere else in the country...

Once the exam is over and done with I will have, among million of other things, a grand task of writing a business plan for the Project, putting it all in legitimate writing in a form of a contract, setting up another meeting with yard owner to sign off the contract, finding suitable horses to buy to join the team we already have, build a marketing plan for the Project and make it known...

It's all very exciting as well as scary in the same time! I am hoping I can cope with the extent of it and that I am not going for something I can't bite. I *know* I can do this well but in the same time it will be jumping into deep waters! What if it doesn't work? It does. It will. What if it doesn't? You get the picture...

What will be will be. Either way, you will know about it.

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”

Charles F. Kettering

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