This week finally brought some work with it and I haven't enjoyed being out in the cold so much for a long time. I gave up on breeches and riding boots and started teaching in my fleece lined leggings, Toggi overtrousers and trekking boots with Gore-Tex cover. The difference was spectacular! For the first time in years my feet were actually warm even after 10 hours outside!
Yes, I know there are some fabulous riding boots with all the technical inserts but they are way too expensive.
The conditions out there make you very creative as to what sort of work you do and there is surprisingly a lot that can still be done, even when surfaces are far from ideal.
I had to stop my little riders though for some hot-chocolate-intervals to keep them warm but it seemed to have added to the whole excitement of unusual lessons ;)
Some of my adult clients thankfully turned up too. The commitment of the riders in the time when the industry suffers so much is keeping us all going. If people stop riding in winter times riding centres and instructors will have to have a damn good Plan B!
On Wednesday evening I had another meeting with a riding club I will be working with next year. I will be providing them with a coaching structure via Academy Programmes. It's all a bit of a tiring process to organise logistically but we are now pretty much done! All the details will be announced in January :)
To add to New Year excitement I got a superb proposition of being "an expert" on a Q & A panel for another top monthly equestrian magazine! I am not so sure about being called an "expert" as I don't really regard myself as one but I love solving training problems and finding ways to improve riders of all levels so I am very much looking forwards to it.
My first question arrived today and I am guessing it must be some sort of a test question ;)
Details to follow soon.
On Monday night we had a grand fun with the Barnfield riders. The mad Xmas party seems to be a tradition now and the Zarlas family makes a wonderful job of it. The only person who missed it this year was Anja who had fun at the hospital instead giving birth to her baby boy! (They are both fine so Congratulations to new Mum and Dad! :)
Dimitri does some Greek cooking which is always delicious and we all bring some bits and bobs to put on the table. Being a rather international crowd we often end up with some interesting culinary specimens. Like a Beetroot Chocolate Cake...Anyone? It was actually quite good!
To "deserve" all these goodies we set off for a snowball fight in the garden. You can never be tired of the simple, child like fun with the snow. It might be taking away the livelihood, crash the industry and cause businesses to cease their activities but if you can't beat it you might as well enjoy it.
In some twenty minutes we all got attacked several times and I managed to plaster Suzanne's face with some snowballs just to be absolutely sure she deserves the cakes. Both her and Katya made doubly sure I deserved mine too.
The Zarlas' have some interesting costumes so we took turns to have a go at the Viking Look.
Nothing better than new hairstyle feeling ;) It was decided I should change my hair colour to red and although the hopes are high for many grand changes in the New Year, my hair will most likely be left as it is.
I will, however, consider the red head option for some mid-life crisis should I have one.
For now, I am wishing all my wonderful clients, riders, blog readers and friends a fabulous Xmas time!
See you all in a few days :)
P.S. If you are snow bound and looking for a good book, try The Brave by Nicholas Evans. Took me just about three days to read it, he's a genius.