Saturday 29 November 2008

Eek, another late night studying

Had a good day today but I am feeling rather rubbish this evening, can just tell the nasty cold is coming :( BUT, my dear amazing friend got me some great notes for the exam so I shall keep reading.
I wish this exam wasn't this Monday, but maybe a week after. With everything that's been happening it's a bad timing.
But who is to say what a good timing is...

2010 Radio Show Episode 13 - John Deere & the Music of WEG

2010 Radio Show Episode 13 - John Deere & the Music of WEG

Happy Thanksgiving to all our United States listeners. We have a special musical treat for you that will bring back fond memories for those that attended the 2006 World Equestrian Games. Also, there is the news of the week led by the green of John Deere. Don't miss a minute...

Show Notes and Links:


Friday 28 November 2008

Long evening ahead

Seeing Santa does read my blog (well some of it at least) I can be a bit more positive on here again.
Just over two days left until my Stage IV exam (or as it is now called: Intermediate Stable Managers exam) so this is what I am spending my evening and night on today:

Oh, and another household quote...Ricky to me just before I popped to the shop: 'Yea, just you get yourself some red-bulls so you can then leave empty cans around the house like a tramp!'...some sort of theme seems to be going on!
[I really do need that liquid though, fell asleep in a coffee shop today while revising AFTER having an enormous cup of coffee! Red-bull is much more effective and no, I am not involved in any advertising campaigns they run. However, if they would like to sponsor my eventing and/or dressage season 2009 I won't say No!!]. Any Red-Bull PR people reading???

Thursday 27 November 2008

Talking to a horse

Try sometimes going into your horse's stable and sit down quietly. Choose the time when it's peaceful and no commotion around. Let him watch you, don't try to call him, just sit there. He will come and look down at you with those dark, deep, warm eyes as if to say 'what's up, you?'. He might sniff you as if to check who you are, he might blow warm air into your face, his nose soft and testing, he might nuzzle your hair, rest his head on your shoulder, nudge you, lick your hands.
He won't ask any questions. He doesn't have to.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Here's the thing with life

Here's the thing with life. You cannot always write about it on your blog. You cannot just create a little sentence and make everything turn into a happy story.
Here's the thing with writing a diary. It's not always just about the horses. It's not always about career, teaching and getting dirty in the mud.
Here's the thing with life. Sometimes it gets too much for a little post on a little blog.
Here's the thing with life. It has moments when all you can do is just say nothing at all.
So I might skip a few days until life comes back into something I can put back into words.

P.S. I'm fine by the way. It's not me who isn't. Which sucks.

Tuesday 25 November 2008

No title

I can hear myself say
This is NOT my day,
I'm sayin' What the Hey
You won't believe me, anyway
Round The Twist Theme Song

Monday 24 November 2008

Sunday 23 November 2008

The Mud Paradise

Did I say I was going to mention the 'cold' word quite often? Not? Well, I will ;) It was blooming freezing today, another day when I really got incredibly wet and cold. It took me 40 minutes in a really hot bath to go back to a reasonable state ;) My circulation must be of some exotic genetic origins and it gets confused when it has to take care of me whenever the temperature drops below 20C.
Day started quite nicely, cold but so pretty - it was snowing and everything was covered white.


At 10am the snow changed into one of the coldest, driving type of rain I have seen for a while. And since then it had all been far from pretty...

By 11am I was wrapped in everything I could find including an exercise sheet (yes, the one for horses) with fleece lining. I sat there trying to see my riders behind the wall of rain and thought about Ricky's comment the other day: "What are those empty cans of red bull doing in the bedroom you tramp!" [I do love him really;)]....;)
I still ended up soaked.

Amazingly, due to only really committed riders making it to the arena, we did actually get some quality sessions done. I've been teaching most of them for a year now and it's such a pleasure seeing them improve and really enjoying learning more and more.

Mental note to self: make sure all your future jobs come with indoor arenas as a must number 1!

Saturday 22 November 2008

All I want for Christmas...

Children love Christmas time don't they! I am not looking forward to it this year at all as can't spend it with my family.
I had this little girl on my lesson today and she said: 'What do you want from Santa for Xmas?'. And I couldn't think of anything to tell her. For all I want for Xmas this year is for someone really special (who made me once again believe in things I've been mega cynical about for rather a while) to find out she's healthy and well.
I also want my grandmother to cheat her illness and stay with us for as long as possible. I want to be able to see my family more often.
You can hardly share these things with a child. Ech, the joy of being 6 years old...

Friday 21 November 2008

Spending my day...

...on revising to Stage IV exam and playing about with new painting project. Actually, learnt something new today while reading on breeding: do not clear foal's nostrils until his ribs are clear out of the mare; makes sense but didn't really think about it!

Thursday 20 November 2008

Scurry driving!

I don't really know much about Scurry Driving but my friend does it (she does all the leaning around at the back of the carriage - I should really check with her on the proper name of that!) and it seems to look fast and feisty = interesting! She's with the grey ponies and they did rather well at the recent show in Holland (video below). Official website:


Wednesday 19 November 2008

2010 Radio Show Episode 12

It's eventing week as we take a closer look at the sport of eventing in the World Equestrian Games. Listen in as we speak to Jo Whitehouse, CEO of the United States Eventing Association. Plus, the news of the week and three different ways to win Holiday gifts at The Horse Radio Network.

2010 Radio Show Episode 12 - Show Notes and Links:

  • Thank you to Jo Whitehouse, CEO of the United States Eventing Association for joining us today on the show. To learn more about eventing in America visit


Tuesday 18 November 2008

Teaching and phone answering...

This might annoy a few people but hey, you can't please everyone ;)
I had this conversation with a fellow instructor about answering mobile phone whilst teaching. I don't normally do it and most people know that they have to phone me after 7pm if they need to speak to me. If I am having a lesson myself I am not keen on my trainer chatting away on their mobile either.
Having said that, there are a few numbers stored on my phone that I will always pick a call from; that includes Ricky, my family and a few friends. This does not mean I will get into lengthy conversations about everything, nothing and the purpose of human kind! If the person on the other side of the phone isn't just catching their last breath my standard response will probably be something along the lines of 'I'm teaching now, can I call you in so-and-so minutes'.
Some clients don't like any of that considering it an invasion into the time they paid for...

Fellow instructor told me I should have my phone switched off during lessons...well, I am afraid I am not going to do so.

Funnily enough, I am more likely not to have my phone with me when I am schooling/riding and I might be so focused on the horse that I won't even hear my mobile ringing ;)
Sometimes I might leave it in a 'safe place' and have no idea where that was!
Either way, I always return the calls ;) If you called and didn't hear back from me you probably have your number witheld!

Anybody who rides with me knows very well they won't loose anything because of me answering the phone...You cannot escape from hard work and constant improvement on my lessons ;)

Saturday 15 November 2008

Friday 14 November 2008

In peace

I haven't had a day like today for good several months - by this I mean a day when I have a house to myself and time which is just totally mine to do what I please with.
This considering I decided to just truly sit down and think through all the options for the end of this year, evaluate what I managed to get done so far and what still needs doing. Since late summer, when I decided to restructure my working week, I've spent ages looking for various jobs that would fit with one I want to keep for now but to no avail. I even looked for full-time jobs that might suit me and that would go hand in hand with my overall career plan - all equine related of course but nothing seemed 'just right'. I've started to feel lost in those hectic proceedings and although I kept going I didn't really feel in peace with it. Somewhere on the way I have forgotten that life is what happens when you make other plans; that my life just seems to organise itself best if I don't interfere too much. Fair enough, I do need to steer a bit now and then but I should know better not to over direct myself. I do know where I am going which I guess is the most important thing.

So after having a very me-day with lots of me-time today I came to the conclusion I am going to leave things as they are until Christmas when I will think about my further plans once again.
I am now going to focus on my Stage IV Care exam which I am taking on the 1st of December - keep your fingers crossed!
I also got asked to take over organisation of a Pony Club at one of the places I work at so am having fun thinking about ways to improve the activities ;) - if anyone has any bright ideas on how to make a pony club centre work best feel free to email me at ridinginstructor at gmail dot com.

And I shall do a lot of horse hunting too...........:)


"Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come." [Franz Kafka]

Wednesday 12 November 2008

2010 Radio Show Episode 11 - Driving Explored

2010 Radio Show Episode 11 - Driving Explored

We begin our look at the disciplines that are part of the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Driving is the first up as we speak to WEG Driving Show Manager Susan Gilliland. We also review the news of the week, from a new official website to the World Endurance Championship results. Don't miss any of the next 7 episodes as we review all the disciplines that are part of the games.

  • Sign up today for the November Games Giveaway at

  • The American Morgan Horse Institute (AMHI) Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to build an American Morgan Horse Pavilion at the Kentucky Horse Park with a targeted opening of the Spring of 2010. More...
  • One of the toughest World Endurance Championships just ended in Malaysia over the weekend, read the results...

  • SPONSOR: The best holiday gift is a custom gift from From a stall sign to a large farm sign they are the leading farm sign makers in the country. Check them out at

  • Listen in for a complete explanation of the Combined Driving Competition at WEG. To learn more go to

  • Today' guest is Susan Gilliland, manager of the driving competition for the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

  • Don't miss this week's Stable Scoop Radio Show as we speak with two of the world's leading equine photographers and learn their secrets to taking a better horse picture.


Tuesday 11 November 2008

Sooo coooold!

I will probably repeat myself over and over again this winter but - it's SO COLD! I've just came back from Ealing RS and am sitting here trying to warm up, wrapped in blankets. Oh and I am stuffing myself with chocolates from a crazy friend from Italy whom I met up with this morning. We spent several hours chatting about teaching methods and horses making other people in a coffee shop look at us with some bewilderment. You can't beat Italians when it comes to conversations! ;)
M. is an incredibly committed instructor with a rather excellent CV who just got a job at quite an interesting place in Scotland (The Scottish Equestrian Centre - Gleneagles) - hence her reappearance in England - so everything crossed for her settling in well!! I will finally have a very good reason to visit Scottish Isles :)

Monday 10 November 2008

Family and friends

I received a little gift from my mum today - it's a calendar and she wrote something on the second page which made me cry. Not because it's something sad as such but because she knows me so well...

I'm going over to see my family soon which makes me think a lot about this situation. Some say, if there is no solution there is no problem...
I am sorry if this post will be a bit cryptic but writing has always been my antidote... I know that some of you are in a similar situation I am in and it's our choice. And yet, I cannot stop feeling guilty for leaving my family behind and so far away and am missing seeing my friends back there too (those I know I can call at 4am and they don't think about killing me for it ;).
The Catch 22 is that I don't want to go back permanently so I feel in constant battle in between myself following my dreams and the family-person-me (if that makes sense at all).

It's not all as bad as I probably make it sound; over the years I have met some great people here too and a couple that would probably also answer that 4am phone call...
But...if you are in my situation I am sure you know what I am talking about...

Sunday 9 November 2008

Fireworks and strong wind...

...make for very spooky horses, people falling off and days being stressful...

Saturday 8 November 2008

Your Horse Live 2008

Pic. The Horse Inside Out stand

I must say it was a lovely half-weekend I have just had. A friend of mine invited me to stay over so I got to totally escape from London for a couple of days; on Friday I had a chance to ride her lovely 4 year old that I could sit on all day if poor animal accepted such extravagance ;)) He is a fantastic youngster and I'm pretty sure he will do rather well with her in the future.

Then, courtesy of someone (thank you S.B.!!!) who couldn't go to Your Horse Live this year I ended up with free tickets and decided to have a look at the event.
It was certainly worth going but I was incredibly NOT IMPRESSED with the Derby House stand! I had won their vouchers a few weeks ago and was looking forward to exchanging them for some goodies for myself BUT the only products on Derby House stand consisted of the completely unnecessary pinkness of their new Katie Price collection and some rug sale. Very disappointed.

Anyway, onto the demos - Mary King was enjoyable as always but very basic which would be fine should she have ridden a young horse in her 'training young horse over indoor cross country fences' demo. Instead, she rode her Hong-Kong (Olympics 2008) ride Call Again Cavalier...It was really great to see them but not necessarily very educational.
What I enjoyed the most was Carl Hester's demonstrations, the teaching one in the morning which we caught a glimpse of and then ridden one in the afternoon. He always seems to be able to pass things on in a clear and simple way that you can take with you and which stay in your memory.
Great day all in all though :)

The Event in pictures and on videos

Some blurry pics of Mary King and Call Again Cavalier discussing the jumping of narrow fences



Carl Hester's Demo



Wednesday 5 November 2008

Lateral work with Laura Bechtolsheimer


2010 Radio Show Episode 10 - Games Giveaway Winner Announced

The winner is announced in October's Games Giveaway. We speak with the winner, Michelle Bergeron of Right Lead Equestrian Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Kentucky Horse Park construction, Alysheba and several rider updates highlight this week's coverage of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

2010 Radio Show Episode 10 - Show Notes and Links:

  • Check out Michelle Bergeron's farm at Congrats Michelle, enjoy the pad!

  • Don't miss this week's Kentucky Horse Park construction update. You can also find construction updates on the KY Horse Park website by following this link.

  • Alysheba returned to the United States last week and settled in to his new home at the Hall of Champions in Kentucky Horse Park. We went to visit him but apparently he is still not used to all the people and was feeling a bit shy. Here is the best picture I could get of him. Notice the snarl. Cigar was feeling a little put out and would not turn around the entire time we were there. His picture is also below.

  • Showjumper and 2010 hopeful Samantha McIntosh to ride for New Zealand again. Read more...

  • Dressage Gold Medalist Anky van Grunsven announces that she wants to compete in two disciplines at the 2010 Games. Learn more...

  • Olympian eventer Becky Holder was in Minnesota helping the University of Minnesota to continue to raise money for it’s new Leatherdale Equine Center. Click here to see the video we discussed on the show.

  • In eventing news it was announced that Captain Mark Phillips will continue to lead the US Eventing Program until 2012. Read entire article...

  • Don't miss this week's episode of the Stable Scoop Radio Show as we discuss with six equestrian marketers how to get through hard economic times as an equine business owner.


Tuesday 4 November 2008

Just when I thought I managed to turn my head around all the rules and regulations of the equestrian sports in the UK...

...the British Eventing is planning a whole new set of changes to their classes! (and increases the entry costs by 10%...).

Horse & Hound: "British Eventing (BE) sport director Mike Etherington-Smith announced the following changes at the annual general meeting at Stoneleigh last Wednesday, 29 October:

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