Wednesday 27 August 2014

Off Roading

Snapped on rainy walks
It's now been a little over 6 months since my return to full-time coaching activities and as always, there are things to be pleased with, things to learn from, things to never repeat and various ones in between.
You know, one thing that will probably never change is that, if you try to do something nobody else does (or you don't know many who does it) you also have nobody to ask for advice on certain aspects of your activities. That's why I titled this post "off-roading" because to me, 90% of the time everything feels like going off-piste with no sat nav and just a self-made map in my head. On a good note, and that's where internet comes in handy, there are many "off-roaders" in other industries and walks of life which is somewhat comforting ;)
I'm being asked regularly if I don't miss training few hours a day now that I've been riding very infrequently and even to my surprise the answer is not that much...It seems that it's enough for me to re-focus my obsessions and I am fine ;) At the end of 2011 I was desperate to ride a lot again. It was an incredible, driving goal and when I have that kind of goal I do anything in my powers to make it happen. And I did. Now, the road map changed. I feel like my observations skills have improved immensely after being able to watch 30 plus lessons a week (some 1.200 lessons in total ;) on advanced horses and riding them few hours a day. There is still so much I want to be able "to see" but one step at a time...Patience is another skill that I feel is developing more and more as I go.

I had to make a few difficult decisions in the last 6 months. I know I wouldn't be able to make those decisions if not for the kick ass lessons I received in the last couple of years so part of me is glad it wasn't all for nothing!
What I learnt is that it really is extremely toxic to be surrounded with people who do not share the same vision or whose priorities differ largely from your own. Someone once sent me this quote that very simply read "never put someone first who puts you second". In my romantic lullaby of an arty soul state I somewhat always imagined this to be about actual partnership with your loved one and never gave it much application to everyday life but in its simplicity, the little quoty wisdom can actually transcendent so many situations on so many different levels that I feel thoroughly stupid for not noticing that before.

Snapped on rainy walk
And so the realisation finally arrived in this "make everyone happy" brain of mine that when one person can't think straight from stress and worry, the other might be having a scented bath/a party/a morning 30min tea ritual/[enter another me-time thing here] before bothering to get in touch. Or perhaps they forget to let you know about a change of plans. Or forget to turn up when they should. Etc. The funniest realisations of all was that this is ok. We all need to find the right environment and right people in which and with whom to off-road with excited grin on our faces and we have to arrive at the decision moment sooner or later.

I have always admired people who stay true to themselves and don't let themselves be boxed and labelled, categorised and limited. For some reason it is hugely important to me and perhaps one day I shall find out why. I am guessing we all find safety and comfort in different things. Some of us get it when sliding their feet into warm, fuzzy slippers for the weekend, some from partying until the death of the brain cells and some in never truly knowing what's coming next.

The seasons are turning. I love the change but as always winter months are a worry. The leaves are staring to fall which made me think the American word for autumn, Fall, is very apt indeed. I dislike the commercial drive to speed the process up though and find it so ironic that signs of economic prosperity should be seen via Christmas adverts on pub August.

Random thoughts draw to close :) I have a lot to do and decent amount of writing tasks to finish today too so I will pop now. If you off-road your life in whatever sphere and blog about it let me know so I can expand my reading list!

Speak soon,

Snapped on rainy walk


Monday 11 August 2014

Night time blogging, receiving goodies, filming tutorials etc

I am not sure why that is but I do enjoy writing on here late in the evenings or at night time as it happens right now. It has always been like this ever since starting this blog. At the beginning, it was mostly due to the fact I would be back home after 10pm or 11pm and by the time I had some dinner it was bed time. It seemed rather unfair to have no other life-time than travelling and working so I extended my "days" by writing.
The funny thing about writing a blog (and if you write one or write a diary of sort please do let me know if you feel the same) is that it becomes a big part of your life and not writing about the daily happenings somehow feels as if they didn't happen. Now I made it sound a bit like an obsessive Facebook posting where if you didn't post a photo on Facebook from your holidays then you may have never actually been on one but it's not quite like this. I have written more posts on here that have stayed as drafts and never been read by anyone but me than those that are published - writing organises the chaos of thoughts in my head.

Hugs for my wonderful Mum - she is the best :) 
Thankfully the last week since I wrote had been a good one, nothing too backward have happened (to which I am quite used to since most good things come with a damn wrapping of difficulties) and so the delusional optimism has been happily spreading its wings. To my delight, my dearest Mum sent me a little parcel with some clothes and a magazine which for a nomad living on one suitcase does feel like the biggest shopping trip of the century ;) Thank you Mum!

[My Mum asked me what "selfies" were so I explained it was basically trying to fit yourself into the camera view balancing said camera with one hand. Now that she knows she wants me to send many of those - sigh]

Now, on a more serious front, the new yard continues to develop and I am really looking forward to working out from it very soon.
I have some interesting new guest bloggers who will write a series of posts on Aspire blog which I am very much looking forward to also. One is Science Supplements who will write a series of educational posts about health of competition horses (also older horses and grassroots horses) and a young journalist - Alice-Rose Brown, who is building her writing portfolio and will share thoughts of her battle with confidence. If you are interested in either, do check out the links :)

I am also preparing Aspire's next Newsletter which will go out on the 14th. One part of it will be a little video tutorial which I filmed with the help of one my lovely clients and which will be simply a video reply to a question by another rider who trains with me during Aspire clinics.

Sneaky peak at the video frames - can you guess what was the rider's question? 
Many more tutorials coming up once the new base is fully up and running! Sadly, my trusty, wonderful Panasonic camcorder died of unknown disease and I am currently left with my old iPhone and it's limited quality. Hopefully the content will be good enough for the viewers to forgive the form.

Now I better hit the pillows, it's 01:25 at this very moment and I need to be up at 7:30. I wonder if it rains and hurricanes tomorrow as eagerly as it did today!

Monday 4 August 2014

OK, Let's get excited - Say hello to the mini-base for Aspire Equestrian...! :)

As I mentioned before, I have some exciting news - at least I sure hope they are going to be very exciting. Can you guess?
I will give you a clue...

Say hello to the mini-base for Aspire Equestrian...!
If all goes according to plan, from next month, Aspire Equestrian will have a mini-base in form of this little yard. I will be sharing more information about the set up and more photos which I took today in Aspire's newsletter (flying to whoever wishes to receive it on the 1st and 14th of every month). You can sign up for it via my microsite HERE.

I am so looking forward to this next stage in Aspire's development. It is not my own place but I was invited to base myself there and at this moment I am more than happy with such turn of events :) Since affording own yard is currently out of question, my aim is to focus on 2-3 mini-bases where I can offer quality service with top notch attention to detail. I don't care how "posh" they look or how beautiful the facilities are - the most important factor for me is that all the little, ordinary things are done extraordinarily well and that I can control the learning environment. This set up should bring both elements together.
Since I don't drive (yes, I know, it's mad, I will tell you about it in another post) I have to be very creative with where I work and how I can get there. It's a constant struggle and I would lie if I said 80 minutes walks to and from the station every day and then staying on my feet all days are not tiring but when I hear people complaining about not doing something they really want to do because they would need to get on a bus or train or both and it would take them over half an hour, it does make me feel a little sad. It's doable. It's possible. It just takes some fabulous clients who are willing to help, some effort, some organisation, coordination and a lot of patience ;)

This is not to say I can't wait for when I can finally sit in my own car! More on this soon.

On a train on one of many journeys this past week :) 
This last week was a fast blur for all the good reasons. I have had a few new clients starting their training and those who started Aspire programmes are all staying on them which makes me very happy indeed. Technically, I still need few more regular spaces filled over the next 6 months to be able to say the programmes are viable in long term business terms but I shall continue to work on that.

I have a day off travelling tomorrow but a long to-do list awaits for me. I have a guest blog to write for a fabulous website, I will share a link once it's online, and an article on how I use the Racewood simulator for my courses for the company who makes them.
The simulator I use is the dressage one although I do use it in an all-round manner. It's such a fantastic tool and once I send the article I will link to it as there will be some fun videos going with it :)

Hope you all had something good happening today! Speak soon :)

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