Life`s all about growing up isn`t it? I`m taking a massive step at the moment; a leap of faith so to speak, from a sheer cliff. It`s put me in a reflective mood, and thinking about the decisions I`ve made so far in life and how it could`ve been a totally different yellow brick road I`m walking down. It could have been red for starters!
The first decision I remember was when I was shown a chestnut gelding. Section D, about 15hh who`s owner was at university and he was offered to me on loan, with a view to buy. I rode him and didn`t particularly click with him. That was the decision made, and a couple of months later I got Matt to back and bring on, which wouldn`t have happened had I chosen the chestnut horse. Which obviously means I wouldn`t have had Otis …
I did have second thoughts about two years later when a friend of mine started working this chestnut gelding and I rode him a few times while she had exams. He was so light and easy and forward going I felt I had missed out on something. I`m not that fussed now as I know he was an older horse so when I would be wanting to jump bigger he`d be wanting to take life slower.
The next big decision I remember was leaving my childhood yard. I have lots of fabulous memories there and always get very nostalgic when I visit, but I grew out of it. I wanted to see the bigger world. To see a wider variety of horses, and to try and variety of disciplines. Not that I couldn`t there, but I would have broken the mould. Now when I go back I don`t regret leaving because I would have had a very sheltered life and narrow horizon, but I do miss the fun and laughter we had. Such as fourteen of us hacking three miles to a local show and making up a large proportion of the competition.
My next yard was a busy riding school, which taught me a lot about the darker side of the equine world. I saw many injuries and got a reality check with the workload and economic pressures. However, if I hadn`t gone there I would never have got all my exams or had as good a training. The recession had a negative effect on that yard and I began to get itchy feet after two years.
So I moved to another riding school yard, where I had more responsibilities in terms of teaching and equine care. Again, it`s been a massive learning curve and I don`t regret any of it, but after eighteen months it`s helped me know what I want from life and given me the confidence to go out and get it.
So here`s where I am now. Taking the big step away from employment security and setting up on my own as a freelance instructor. I`m continuing to teach at the present yard on a freelance basis, but want to use my new found knowledge and train riders and horses to a higher standard. I`m aiming to take my BHS intermediate teaching test, but that probably won`t be until next year, and I want to have the time and ability to focus on teaching and to organise my own life. Get some free time during the day to pop to the shops or go to the doctors, and not start work before everyone and finish after everyone else. That`s the dream though, and hopefully in six months time I`ll be living it!
On an aside, this junction in my life has given me the opportunity to do what I`ve always wanted to do. That is, to write down the stories that flit around me head. It all started with this blog last year, and then the http://www.zippysdiary.wordpress.com blog to see if I could write well enough for children, and finally the first published ebook and paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4800591?ref=1147694&utm_id=6026 available on Amazon, Kobo, Nook and iBooks. Please spend a bit of time sharing my book with friends and those with young kids, so that I can fulfil my pie in the sky dream.