Pets Magazine

Amazing Opportunity - It's Got to Be Taken!!

By Kc2610 @kc2610
Finally, I can tell everyone my big news! I have been waiting a few weeks to write a post about it but needed to make sure it all went through smoothly. I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot by telling everyone all about it and then things fell through.
The news is that I am now running my own yard! If you have been reading previous posts, you will know that I recently got a job doing part-time grooming at a private yard on an estate. It ended up being pretty much a full-time job as the girl I was replacing was away for a long time and no one else was there to do the other part-timing. After a few weeks it was made clear that that the previous groom wasn't coming back due to injury, and I was offered the yard to rent from the estate owner.
Of course I was excited about the prospect of having my own yard and finally looking after my own horses as well as training liveries. However it is bloody scary. The past few weeks have involved nothing but nail-biting and would-be sleepless nights if I hadn't been so tired from working 12+ hour days. This is pretty much a dream come true though, as three years ago when I arrived in England, running a yard is probably the last thing I expected to achieve in such a short time.
Running a yard is not just about looking after the horses properly, training them correctly to see improvements and satsifying the clients - that is the easy bit. It's the bills, accounts, tax, invoices, keeping records of every horse and every penny spent on them, and balancing my income from teaching and liveries with the expenses of feed, hay, shavings, tack, fuel, competition entries, and rent on my own horse's boxes. Eventually I will need to be able to pay a groom too so I can go away competing during next year's competition season. You see the stress involved?!
My mom has been trying to explain all of this business stuff to me, and I'm slowly getting it but it's going to take some practise, especially as maths was never my strongest subject - my mind works in more of an artistic way. I just have to remember to record absolutely everything coming in and out of the bank, and then I should be fine.
The best bit of renting the yard, called Ampney Park, is that I get to live above the stables in a lovely little studio, so every morning I can walk down the stairs to see the gorgeous faces of my boys and girl and tuck them all into bed at night! This also means less travelling, more time to ride and make sure all the horses are healthy and catch any issues before they become problems. Hopefully this means a lot less vet bills too! In Australia we barely had one vet bill, but since we put the horses on livery in the UK there seems to be at least one every month. That is no one's fault, it is just that no one knows a horse like its owner and when the owner isn't there controlling their routine from morning to night, things go unnoticed.
Hopefully by next week I will be moved into the studio and at the end of the week Julius and Seb will move into their new stables. Bertina and Chad will stay at Sue and Gary's for now until the yard is into a system and the paddocks are sorted out. The past couple of weeks really have been a nightmare though trying to run between yards doing horses, riding, teaching, cleaning up the new yard and moving everything all over the place - we even moved house last week, my clothes are still in boxes! It's all just a blur really and I can't wait until everything settles back down and I can have a day off, or maybe even sleep past 7am!
Never thought I'd be effectively running my own business at age 19 (it was my birthday on Friday, I'm getting old!) and have such a huge responsibility of being in charge of a yard of seven horses, but hey I'm not one to stay in my comfort zone so I had to go for it. Though I will really miss Withington, my old yard. It was definitely the best livery yard I have ever been at, even when compared against the professional yards. Fortunately I still get to go back to teach, as I have been giving most of the livery owners lessons and riding a few of their horses. They are all such nice people and I've made some great friends there so it would be a shame not to stay involved with them and their horses.
So that's the big update, and I'll have more on how the move is going in about a week. In between that however I am going to an Excel Talent Programme training clinic on Monday and Tuesday, so I'll update you on that too.

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