Sometimes I chat with a potential client who says they would really like to sign up for my training but they live too far to come regularly.
Distance is a funny excuse for something you really want to do (if you indeed really want to do it...). I used to travel from London to Gloucestershire twice a week to part-time study and train, to Wiltshire and Oxfordshire to shadow-train and for lessons, 3h a day 7 days a week to my horse at livery during my first year of University - the concept of not doing something because it's 3-4 hours away is quite an alien thing to me.
It seems to boil down to the fact that we either do something or make excuses not to do something. At times, riders say that travel is too expensive just to say in the same sentence they'd been having lessons for the last 2 years and have not improved. If improvement is the goal then maybe 2 years of lessons that offer no value is more expensive in many more ways than monetary than travelling to training that do bring improvement?
Working with people who have the no-excuse attitude is probably the best part of running my own coaching programme. I used to joke that I don't advertise too much because then the right person finds me but I am starting to think this is truly the case!
The picture at the top of this post shows my Sunday client who travelled for her training with me from Chile. She has her own Chilean horse over there but wants to progress and opportunities for that are limited where she is. We've been organising her intensive training day with me since last year as many logistical obstacles kept turning up but we managed eventually. She coordinates her UK work trips with training and I am already looking forward to seeing her again in a couple of months.
Making things happen is simply inspirational.
Talking about inspiration...I did an interview with The Gait Post where I shared some of my thoughts on training, motivation, inspirational people, international experiences and more :) If you would like to check it out, here is the link: http://www.thegaitpost.com/wiola-grabowska/
A friend of mine who runs a coaching group on Facebook started an interesting discussion today about most suitable age for starting to learn to ride and I thought the video that she posted is worth sharing...what do you think of Charles De Kunffy's opinions?
I have a base limit of 12 years old for joining the Academy but treat everyone individually upon assessment. Some children are very mature training wise and able to focus well whereas some older teenagers struggle with even more simple technical aspects of equitation.
When it comes to adults, from my experience, in most cases it is not the age but the perception of age that hinders their progress. Being "too old for this or that" becomes an excuse when in reality some exercises and movement can be difficult regardless the age.
What do you think?