Now nearly 2 months in to the ‘New Normal’ I cant exactly say that I’m totally used to it yet! Not being able help riders with their tack, hand sanitising every lesson and planning times between sessions so people don’t pass, has been somewhat of a learning curve! However precautions aside we CAN now train which is very exciting!! I made the decision to return to coaching slowly, and start clinics a month later than my local clients. The reality is that as much as I was chomping at the bit to get going, before lock down happened I had actually only been back to work for 2 months, and up to full working hours a month! So in hope to be in this for the long run and keeping my health as a priority, I decided to make a slow return so that I could slowly build my stamina back up! Lock down has given me the chance to reflect like many I’m sure, on how I do things, I have massively enjoyed having more time to train my horses, and with the slow return I have also enjoyed the chance to readjust the services I offer, so that I can give people more support.
I have decided that I want to continue to offer quality over quantity, and give my clients the best learning experience I can, whilst still having the time to train and enjoy my own horses. So there will be a few changes over the next few months which will enable me to offer the best version of myself consistently.
This reflection has also allowed me to plan some goals for the horses, and take a look at the bigger picture. I have decided not to compete until September, rash I know, when most are desperate to get out. However they have progressed so much over the last few months, I feel that my time and money is best put into training. Don’t get me wrong here, I love competing but my bigger goals for this year and next, lie within progressing the horses and training them on, which if I’m honest, competing at this stage is only a small part of! I will of course reassess in September, but I am enjoying teaching them new things and even if I decide not to go out for a bit, I still feel like I am progressing well to my goals.
One of biggest triumphs in lock down hit me the other day, when Boris did a whole raised pole and caveletti session and didn't knock a single pole down!!! It seems small but in actual fact 12 weeks ago we would only leave 1 pole up all session!! In fact if I’m honest I very nearly gave up doing any kind of pole work with him, on the pure basis that I really was not sure he could physically do it. In reality I was probably right at that point, but with persistence he has really come along!!
Dotty is also kicking on and progressing well, she never stops surprising me in how trainable she is, and has also been enjoying some pole work over lock down which has helped her develop hugely! My main goal for both horses is to have them both training at Medium by the end of the year, and considering our very false start with my head injury, Dotty's hocks and Boris's sensitive foot balance, we still seem to be be on track! I feel we can do it and with my usual level of determination, this little dysfunctional dressage family are giving it their best shot!