We all have many lessons to learn in life, some are wonderful, some are painful, and some are just about how to cope or deal with the many challenges we meet along the way. I consider myself one of the lucky ones who have great family and friends to support me when things get tough and throughout my life I have been surrounded by animals, dogs and horses in the main, who have also delivered valuable lessons of their own.
I used to say that horses were my Stress Busters – they helped me survive career challenges, in particular when unable to sleep as my busy brain refused to stop in the early hours of the morning, night after night, week after week. Once in the saddle – of usually a young, inexperienced or challenging horse I had no option but to focus entirely on what I was doing and therefore all else was blanked, at least for an hour or 2. Having left the demanding career and money behind several years ago I am now getting to practice those lessons of “Living In The Moment” in an entirely different situation, one that is being increasingly recognised and publicised as we get to live to a greater age, and is therefore being experienced by far more – the horrors of dementia.
My mother is now into the later stages of this awful affliction and although we have been through this twice previously with first my Dad and then my Aunt, we are, even now, finding and dealing with new challenges. However, the common angle is one of adapting to the here and now. Once more the lessons from my horses of living in the moment are standing me in good stead. There are many painful times to endure but if we can just find that “moment” it is possible to enjoy the fleeting glimpses of the person you know and this lets you hold on and keep going.
So once again, my lovely four legged friends are helping to keep my sanity. The occasions that I get to escape to them are being restricted by the demands of being a carer and what has been a crazy professional workload these past few months, but thanks to aforementioned family and friends I do get out to them at least to feed, skip off and on many late evenings this winter under the stars I would have been found out in the arena while they got to roll and play, just enjoying the moment. Of course riding again will be another challenge. I did get to throw a saddle up on Patrick the other week, I then got to watch him leaping and cavorting on the end of the line – well you have to laugh out loud don’t you – before stepping up into the stirrups just as an almighty hail storm commenced. So I guess that wasn’t meant to be and a week later no further opportunities have presented themselves.
So I continue to live moment by moment, minute by minute and day by day with plenty of hopes and aspirations for the coming months but no expectations as they would be a recipe for stress and I have no need for any more of that. My mother sings (rather irritatingly multiple times a day) “Que sera sera” – the meaning translated in the English Oxford Dictionary is “used to convey a fatalistic recognition that future events are out of the speaker's control” - which is rather appropriate don’t you think?
Anyway on to things that I can control – the plans for this season are coming together and the diary is taking shape. A few events have not yet been tied to a final date so do please keep checking in and do register your interest in any you think you may be able to come along to. It really will help my stress levels if we are not worrying about numbers up to the last minute ;-)
- March 19th and April 2nd Tina Griffen – individual or group lessons, equitation, horsemanship, TREC preparation – you choose.
- April (date to be confirmed) Nick Hill & Ralitsa Grancharova DVM will be visiting, Nick will offer assessments and trimming, also will fit and adapt Floating Boots if you bring them with you. Forward booking is essential as their time here will be to a strictly limited.
- May 12th to 15th Fawn Anderson (organised by Niki Hardwick) – we are very excited to welcome this young lady all the way from Canada. To give you an idea of what you can expect here is an overview:
Did you know that a large number of riders are forced to retire their horses due to mechanical breakdowns that could have been prevented by a better understanding of healthy movement and balance? This happens in particular in Horsemanship students as they tend to ride longer and demand more intense physical work from their horses than other styles of riding. Learn how adding simple elements of healthier movement will protect your horse and give them a great posture under saddle so you can enjoy your horse for many years to come. Because Fawn has studied around the world with internationally acclaimed horsemen such as: Buck Brannaman, Pat Parelli, Philippe Karl, Karen Rohlf, Walter Zettl, Silke Vallentin, Michael Wanzenreid, Larry Stewart, Steve Byrne, Ronnie Willis & Aimee Brimhall,– she has been able to study all three areas of Classical, Natural & Vaquero Horsemanship and how they work together for the good of the horse. It is her unique ability to bridge the gap between these worlds that is sought after.
- May 21st to 22nd TREC training weekend with Tot Wall organised by Julia McHugh
- June (actual date to be decided) - Camp Weekend – instruction from Josh Steer likely to be on Friday and Saturday then a venture out either around the local lanes and bridleways or a short drive away at Ash as we did last year – if sufficient demand we can maybe repeat this in early September.
- August 19th to 21st Dave Stuart Horsemanship Experience Weekend, places filling fast. Link to booking form is on the Diary Dates page.
And last but certainly not least Josh Steer is about to become a neighbour and in addition to his popular camp weekends will be taking on a few colts for starting here through the summer and will be available for individual and shared lessons.
Oh and don't forget we hold a selection of Thunderbrook feeds so if you are in the area you can save on the online delivery charges. Usually we have Healthy Herbal Chaff and Base Mix, but with notice we can get other items in for you, just now we have some Wheat Bran, Spirulina, Cleavers and Rosehip. Daily Essentials also seem to be rather popular for those of you with good doers if you still want to make sure they have vitamins and minerals they need. We will be placing another order very soon so do let us know if you have any specific requirements.
Roll on summer - oops almost forgot - better focus on the here and now - the future can take care of itself !