Last November when one of my RDA riders asked whether I’d accompany her to a lesson at Lavant for some moral support I thought nothing of it. Having spent my teenage years at the school next door, where I rode at lunchtime (occasionally too when I should have been in A-level Chemistry) and with my first ever job being on the yard, visiting brought back some wonderful memories. That visit resulted in me booking first an Intro, then more lessons than I probably should have done, much to Lucy’s delight. I was re-introduced to riding regularly after ten years off and had forgotten just how addictive our sport is; I’m not sure which hurt more – the rapidly decreasing savings or the impact it had on my legs!
Having been job hunting for a while, seeing a position at LHS resulted in the quickest application I’d ever written. I tried to not think about it, and actually went straight from my interview to guinea pigging in staff training. I should have known adaptability was vital to the role! The rest they say is history and I can’t quite believe at the end of November I will have been part of the team for seven months. My introduction to life at LHS passed by in a bit of a blur if I’m honest. Sitting the other side of the desk for the first time was an odd feeling, and certainly gave me a new found respect for the business. The database system we use was baffling to my untrained eyes, and even now on extremely busy days, can only be likened to a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces and no picture!
From the administrative work (and the resulting filing which we all love doing), to liaising with the yard staff, and of course doing the best we can for our clients, it’s safe to say the office team are jacks of all trades and masters of many. Photography, social media, activities ideas, open mornings, competition organisation, and occasional loose horse catcher amongst others all come under our remit. Except watering the pot plants, which I’m not allowed to do after an over-watering incident…! There is never an average day in the office, and dull is not a word I could ever use to describe it. I haven’t quite got used to popping out the office, battling a donkey to get back in, finding black pudding flying around for the dogs, or indeed Bella making herself comfortable ON my keyboard. As I write Lauren is currently hanging off a tree topping up our squirrel feeder!
There are many positives to my working day but chatting to clients about their lessons, especially when they’ve overcome a fear or the unknown quantity of a new horse is probably one of the best ones. Some of my first jumping experiences over a decade ago were on Jigsaw so seeing him teach the next generation of riders from the comfort of my desk aways makes me smile. Being part of the wider team that provides the same experience I had sounds cliched but makes for great job satisfaction. Without a horse of my own, I too rely on weekly lessons to get my fix, and find myself tortured, sorry I mean gently encouraged, by Liz on a regular basis.
My current project is the organisation of the monthly Friday evening competitions. I’m pleased to say our first one in November was a success, was well supported, and everyone appeared to go home happy. Our next one, this time dressage is on the 1st December and has the added dynamic of an external judge coming in. Even if you don’t want to compete, please do come along to support and watch, you may even see Lauren and I frantically learning a test…