The toughest week so far - BUT always learning!!

I love my job as a saddle fitter, and it just feels now that this is what all those years of riding, studying and travelling around the world to learn was all about.

But this week has been one of the toughest since I started working on my own. Trying to manage my time with the needs of my new and existing clients, travelling around the country and still trying to look after my horses has been completely exhausting. All of this coupled with someone I thought I knew well, behaving in really uncaring way - it all sort of took its toll on me yesterday. I am sure many of us horsey girls & boys know what it is to be tired! So I know I am in good company, when I explain how I feel.

Yesterday on my last day at the BD National Championship in Gloucestershire I was so tired I was tearful. I had a 2am start with a couple of hours sleep and tiredness by the afternoon had taken over. Poor Sally Dernie who was there supporting Jane Lavington, asked me if I was OK and in between tearful sob's I explained that I wasn't really, and that I would need to evaluate what I was doing if I was going to keep going!

Bless Sally, she was so kind and so supportive in explaining how she also runs a very busy business and manages to make time for herself to keep herself happy and healthy. After Sally left and I was sat trying to pull myself together - watching the horses warming up, my mind drifted off to how these riders looked in there saddles. There balance and how many of the horses were achieving transitions with hollow backs and withers down. I photographed quite a few of them so I can look at balance points and flap types. Most of them are riding in very expensive saddles £3,000-£4,000. The balance point is compromised for some and knee's over the front of the saddle was quite a common fault I saw.

My biggest client base now have performance horses, with most of them riding in top-end and top price tag saddles. They cosmetically look beautiful, good leather, pretty patterns and bling BUT are they functional for the horse and the rider?? Sadly if I am being totally honest - mostly they are not. Its disappointing because as a rider, trainer, competitor, saddle fitter and a lover of the horses welfare I know most of these saddles are not doing what they should.

I hope one day I have enough financial support that I can do a research test on all saddles right across the board - then we would know mostly what works. There will always be some horses that no matter what we think is in-correct the horse will function better than expected. My motivation is to ensure that every horse/pony I work with it, has everything from me that it needs to perform to the best of its physical ability.

After drifting off and observing all of these combinations for a couple of hours - I realised that all of my worries and upset had temporarily faded away. It was just a reminder to me that my path is the right one, and despite the up's and down's personally and professionally I am doing what I love with all my heart.

Its funny how things happen! Just as I write this blog, Facebook tells me Clare Ashley has tagged me in a post. There she writes a kind report about trying one of my saddles today, and the comments from other clients and friends back her up. Its so lovely to read and I am so happy I am helping.

I am so grateful to have found my passion, my love of the horse and the friends I am making along the way. I hope I always stay true to my beliefs and if I don't someone will give me a good kick up the backside and remind who I am.

So I think its OK to cry - when you feel you might need! And I am not embarrassed to say a good cry sometimes is as good as singing your favourite song at full blast whilst driving in the sunshine. But its also really great to fall in love with what you do so you deliver the best from your heart not just your head. And lastly if you have an expectation that someone you care about might show you the same care - maybe it was your mistake for having an expectation outside of there capability.

Thanks for taking the time to read xx