Saturday, 22 December 2012

A Day In Life ...Thoughts After An End of The World Day

It's a few minutes past midnight on 22nd of December - a so called End Of The World day didn't quite materialise. The fog around Pico was so thick in the morning that even if the world was ending I wouldn't have noticed. Everything was surrounded by this milky cocoon creating an amazing, magical atmosphere.
I got up very early to work on a project I will soon tell you about and then it was time to meet my friends at 9am at breakfast for sad goodbyes :( My former Aspire rider and her parents were here for the last week and it was great to hear all the stories and catch up on her training, horses and life in the UK.
Then another lovely family was waiting to leave and finish off all the formal arrangements so we sat down for a chat and I really hope to see them again some day. Coming all the way from Zambia, they lead a life very different to what I know. It made for some great conversations at meal times!

The farriers arrived at the yard mid morning and as the mare, Sapateira, I usually ride was having her new Jimmy Choos put on I went to have a look. Nic Barker might be pleased to know that my obsession with horse's feet has never stopped since meeting her.
However, here in Portugal I rarely see/hear of unshod horses. The shoeing itself is elaborate and it takes a long time to do each horse. Otherwise it is similar to any shoeing processes I've watched before.
Once done I put the mare away and went to meet two really nice ladies who arrived for a Hippikos tour. We spent an hour chatting and walking around the Centre; each time you show something to someone is like discovering it all over again :) They loved the place and I have a feeling it won't be long until they are coming here for some serious training fix...

I got on Sapateira about 12.30pm and was curious how she would feel today. I've been riding her on my own for several weeks now minus some days when she is not available, and have noticed the change in our little riding relationship. We are both much more relaxed and I can feel when she is about to get tense much quicker than ever before. She started mouthing the bit consistently and is very accepting of the contact as long as I don't get tense in my lower back and don't lose a steady but soft contact.
Today she started a little tense but then gave me one of the best rides.
Riding her regularly made me realise that perhaps I am ready to be a one horse owner again. For many years, since I sold my horse in Poland in 2005, I lost interest in owning one. I loved getting to know different ones and riding as many as I could. Now I can feel a shift in my attitude and look forward to every morning ride on Sapateira.

Having spoken with Anna H. who is at our stand at The London Olympia it seems that the visitors there love Hippikos :-D It will be interesting to see if there are more bookings from London than Scandinavian shows...Come on UK!

Action at the Hippikos trade stand

Unfortunately, I haven't avoided some dreadful mishaps. Organising an exhibition like this is interesting but stressful as you never know how will the things look like in the end.

Take furniture for example: I looked at tens of different tables, chairs and reception tables to finally settle down for a set but you never know if the stuff is going to be OK when it arrives.
Like the order for a TV which we placed on time but which the guys on the other side decided they haven't received...
This in fact wasn't so bad as the charge for the TV was very high and we had enough good photo banners to fill up the wall space.

We also ran at a problem with delivery of all the materials to the UK as the person who originally agreed to store and receive everything pulled out just a few days before we were due to make orders. Some frantic emails and phone calls later Anna H. came to the rescue and kindly roped in her parents to receive banners from Stockholm and brochures, fliers and Gift Cards from the printers and to drive with everything to London.

All the other problems however, were nothing in comparison to my own personal nightmare of getting the country code in the phone number wrong on the brochures! It's something I always thought would be dreadful to happen and so it did. Murphy's Law!
(If you picked up our brochures please note the code to Portugal is 00351 or +351 and NOT 0051 :-/) Huge apologies for this mistake.

It's the weekend in front of the tradestand team now = the two busiest days ever at Olympia. I am keeping everything crossed for a great success :)  

Olympia haven't finished yet and I've been doing some project brochures and promo materials for  our next show in Gothenburg as well as making some enquiries about further shows. 
One venue really surprised me with a statement that they do not accept prize only sponsorship (i.e. other contribution from the sponsor is also required). It's a huge shame for the riders taking part in my opinion but we shall see what can be done...;) 

Right, time to catch some sleep. 

Magical Misty Morning :)

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