I wish I could tell you all is going amazing and I am off for a little well-deserved holiday but if you've been reading this blog for a while you would know that of course that would be highly unlikely ;)
Instead, it's like pushing that big rock up a hill...every now and then you make a progress, then you slide a few meters down. And you start again.
One of the centres I teach at had to temporarily close for business due to illness of the majority of the horses. It's a very sad situation both for the horses and for everybody whose livelihood depends on that business. It is, however, necessary and responsible to cease any activities that might spread the illness elsewhere.
This means that from a struggling riding instructor I am now an immensely struggling riding instructor! It's a very hard to deal with side of self-employment in the Equine industry. What keeps me going is that every so often, on the way to that damn top of the hill I find that there is some fun to the rock pushing.
I like to have a plan, even if one to follow loosely but to be able to execute such plans we all need that minimal control over our environment.
Well, not here. Here we have a balancing on a tight rope act every day. There is something about people liking to live on the edge, right? Right?.... ....
Recently, I find myself thinking of giving in, grabbing a job that pays the bills, my food, holiday and a horse to ride and enjoy. Then I wake up and can't bare the thought of locking myself in four walls and giving up what I've worked so hard for.
The situations like this one proves to all self-employed instructors out there that we should look at our jobs as a business first. If you are anything like me you will consider many other things your priority - the horses welfare, the enjoyment of the riders you teach, the improvement of the horses and of the riders, pleasure of being with horses etc etc Business comes a very inconvenient last with all its paperwork, financial planning and an array of boring tasks you have to undertake in order to stay on track with all the income/outcome/profit/ loss malarkey.
The answer to my struggle is quite simple - I have to look at this job as a business first, the rest very close second. This is not enjoyable though. It feels like work!
Tough, I can hear you say. And you're right.
Business it is then.
As scary as it is I have arranged for someone to help me deal with the promotional side of the Academy project. The world of press releases and media relations is one I'd rather not venture into by myself.
My search for a yard base in & near London has brought an opportunity which might work a treat or might not work at all - I will find out on Friday. If it does I shall have a very jolly post for you!
The Academy Bloggers
I must introduce you to several fabulous bloggers who guest blog on the Academy Blog. It all started with just a couple of them but has since grew and there is more to come. I love the fact the word about their experiences can be spread for free and the feedback I received so far suggests many riders enjoy reading the posts.
Here we go then, new Guest Bloggers, more introductions to come next time or you can check them all by yourself on Academy's Blog.
Chloe Ammonds-Nutt - passionate eventer with full-time job
Hello I’m Chloe,I work 8.30am – 5pm all week but as soon as the clock strikes 5 I’m out the door, hair up, breeches on and in the car en route to the yard. I grew up around horses as my mother always rode, I was even named after a particularly good sjing mare that she used to own. I always thank my lucky stars I didn’t end up getting called Starlight or Merrylegs!I had the usual horsey childhood upbringing lead rein to pony club, and from pony club to school teams then onto riding club activities. I haven’t been hugely blessed with well bred or talented horses so have had to adapt my passion for competing to whatever sphere they were strongest in. This has in some ways been very beneficial because I have been able to experience polo, polo-crosse, showjumping, dressage, xc, carriage driving, gykhana games, and even a bit of the dreaded showing, but my heart lies with eventing.
Cassidy Sitton of C-Horse Eventing - another eventer with two jobs, one being a non-horsey one
"As a third generation equestrian, I’d like to think the horses are in my blood. I grew up in the saddle and began formal lessons at age 4 near my hometown of Cobden, Illinois (United States). The first barn I was involved with was an Arabian facility, focusing on Hunter/Jumpers. I didn’t have an Arab, so I just plugged along in the world of hunter/jumpers on my own.The first barn I was involved with was an arabian facility, focusing on Hunter/Jumpers. I didn’t have an Arab, so I just plugged along in the world of hunter/jumpers on my own. In order to compete, my family had to make adjustments and sacrifices, and I had to prove my commitment to the sport. From early on, I gained a strong education in the basics of horsemanship and learned early on my passion was working with green and troubled horses.
At thirteen, I grew tired of the controlled environment of the Hunter Jumper world and fell in love with the thrill of eventing. I joined her local United States Pony Club chapter, and quickly progressed through the levels, achieving my H-A rating at 16 (the youngest age allowed to attempt the rating)." Read Cassidy's full bio on HERE.
Cassidy's Blog on: http://www.aspire-equestrian.com/blog/category/guest-blogger-cassidy-sitton/
Judi Daly - you will like her posts, it's all about enjoying the horses! Judi wrote a couple of books on trail riding and has plenty of useful tips for you too.
"My name is Judi Daly, and I live in Cleveland, OH USA. In the world of horses, I’m just anordinary person. I don’t compete, I don’t work in the horse world, I don’t even have my horses onmy own property. Rather, I work a full-time job and board out my two horses. My budget is slim.I don’t even have a horse trailer.I am an avid trail rider, though, often riding over 1,000 miles a year.Our trails are in the suburbs of a large city—some of the most rugged riding you will ever find. We have to deal with planes, trains and automobiles as well as trucks and motorcycles. We share our trails with hikers, joggers, dog walkers, bicycles, baby strollers, fishermen, cross country skiers andwhatever else you may come across in a very populated area. That doesn’t even account for theweather and the wildlife! I like to ride on rainy days because it is the only time it is peaceful andquiet on the trails.I ride both my horses five times a week in all weather. I do keep my horses at a stable with anindoor arena, and that helps in the bad weather and dark winter evenings, but it still gets prettycold. Most winter days in Cleveland are well below freezing.In the winter, I work on the forever unattainable goal of the perfectly trained horse with theperfectly skilled rider." More on HERE
Judi's Blog posts: http://www.aspire-equestrian.com/blog/category/guest-blogger-judi-daly/