(Pic. left. Artists at ERS working on some fantastic horse sculptures. They were sculpting, painting and sketching. It was interesting to watch them working in between teaching :)
I've been doing a lot of thinking in the last few days. About my goals for the next 6 months and the next year, about the Academy project and how best to launch it, about various logistical things of which there is a million and one.
I've also been doing a lot of data gathering, Internet browsing, creating riding programmes for the Academy Project - all very exciting; and trying to figure out pricing and other less exciting stuff.
I have best ideas when I hand write everything so I spent half of Monday at the kitchen table with Bernie the plant.
I am pleased to say I now have a first version of the programmes and the layout of levels.
Today I started combining information for the SWOT analysis for the Project and I am mightily trying to recall everything I learned at Uni on this. Funnily enough I wrote my Master dissertation on PR & Marketing programme for an equestrian centre so I am going to dig it out when I visit my parents in...13 days (big YAY!:).
The problem is I have lots of ideas but many of them are totally unrealistic and even a complete dreamer like me knows this ;) So what I do is, I write my ideas down and then run them through the logically-cynical panel of judges in my brain. Then I do the same with the short-list. Then again. You get the picture ;)
Sometimes I end up with a couple of ideas that might work in the real world. But hey, nothing happens unless first a dream.
My teaching continues as normal of course so I am becoming almost nocturnal. Or 24 hours-whatever-you-would call a creature.
Tuesday. Two of my riders who did Intensive Training Days at the weekend had their regular weekly rides and what an improvement they shown! They were rather knackered after 5 hours of horsey experiences at the Training but I am having less and less doubts as to the success of my little teaching system.
(Pic. below. Always smiling Kiran. She had her first off the lunge canter training session. It went pretty well!)
I am also doing Stage 1 and 3 training in London for some mature horse enthusiasts so I need to revisit the syllabuses to make sure I am up to date with what is required. One of my riders-candidates is Polish so we are doing an interesting mish-mash of two languages! I discovered I am struggling to teach riding in Polish now! I have been doing it in English since 2003 and I am finding myself short of words - how embarrassing!
I've been spending quite a lot of time on re watching videos from my lessons and analysing the riders' seat problems and coming up with ideas how to improve them.
I am also focusing a lot on seeing the bigger picture.
With beginner, novice & intermediate level riders it's all becoming quite easy now. I noticed I can pinpoint a problem and in my head design a route to get it better and, more often than not, it works. You know, what I would really want to get to one day would be to watch an advanced new rider-horse combination warming up and not only see the obvious problems, not only see any hidden shortcomings, not only even notice the barely visible mistakes. Not only know what to do to help them on the day. That's I think it's relatively easy. What I would love to be able to do is to look at them and see in my head how to make them better long term. How to make their partnership work better on higher level. See it as a progressive plan so I know exactly where to start, exactly where it will end and most of all, see all the in between actions.
For now, it's a system of trial and error with an element of hope that it will work.
Half of 2009 behind us. Time to set the next career steps for me:
1) Pass Stage IV exam (both Riding and Intermediate Stable Manager) early in 2010
2) Also in 2010 - Pass BHS Stable Manager's exam (this is one of the 3 parts that now form the BHSI exam: BHS Stable Manager's Certificate, BHS Senior Equitation Certificate, BHS Senior Coaching Certificate. Full new BHSI syllabus can be found on HERE).
Once the summer is over I will focus on more advanced clients. For now, a large part of my days is filled with teaching riding to International students! Some have a decent command of English, some can ride pretty well, some none and not at all. It's interesting to say the least.
Here's how they learned parts of the horse today: