A big thank you to Aspire Equestrian for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award.
Walk, trot, canter and gallop over to Aspire at:
Rules of the Award
- Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
- List 11 random facts about yourself.
- Answer the 11 questions given to you.
- Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
- Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
- Go to each bloggers’ page and let them know you have nominated them.
Eleven Random Facts About Me
1. I started being taught to shoot as soon as I could pull a trigger (my father held the rifle barrel and did the loading). Gave me a life long love of shooting baked bean tins.
2. I love Radio 4.
3. I enjoy cooking, but never produced anything edible to eat, until about 5 years ago, when I discovered Jamie Oliver’s books.
4. I love travelling and South America, in particular. I’ve been to: Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Argentina. And a bit higher up? Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba.
5. I don’t like cold drinks. Only exception? Nice glass of dry white wine.
6. I loathe boiled eggs. Smell, taste, texture. Yuck!
7. I love the theatre and seriously considered a career in stage management, after being ASM on a raft of productions.
8. Numbers figure highly in my life. Maths degree. Accountant. Enough said….
9. … But then so do words. A great love of reading and the written word was instilled in me as a child. And it’s never gone away.
10. Equine activities are one of my obsessions.
11. I rarely watch TV.
Aspire Equestrian’s Questions For Nominated Bloggers … And My Replies
1. What do you like most about blogging?
Blogging represents a fantastic opportunity to interact with talented and amazing individuals, across all walks of life, who are interested in the same things that I am. I also enjoy the creativity that this process engenders.
2. The most inspirational book/quote/person in your life?
Tricky one. I will go for a book: South, by Sir Ernest Shackleton. Best read in a single night. You won’t be disappointed. If you think your life’s hard. Think again. (Follow it up with the expedition’s photographs, taken by Frank Hurley. These are stunning). Shackleton’s leadership skills, under pressure, are second to none.
3. Money/time no object, what would your training look like?
Assuming I could have ‘the best’… I would assemble a crack team of experts, backed by great facilities.
My team: top rider/trainer, physiotherapist (combined specialist in dystonia and dressage!), physical fitness trainer and a good saddler. Also, my team would need to include a great, middle aged dressage schoolmaster, capable of coping with my (current) disabilities.
I would ask my team to assess myself as a rider and also the ‘rider-horse’ combination. Following feedback, I would work with the team to establish goals and work out:
A training plan.
Specifics that I need to work on, alone e.g. Stop eating chocolate.
How progress along the plan will be measured.
What reviews will be necessary (frequency etc.)
4. What do you find most difficult when combining horses with non-equestrian parts of life?
Balancing the needs of chaotic family life and work.
5. What’s your learning style?
I like to combine the written word with practical execution. So, I look for ideas in magazines, books etc., then try and do it!
6. Three favourite horsey websites, you visit the most.
Horse and Hound
Robinsons Equestrian (yes, I spend too much on horsey stuff).
7. What never fails to make you laugh?
Many things make me laugh. Jack Dee, my daughter, the list is endless. However, the thing which never fails is Tosca’s face when she eats treats. She grins. No other word for it. She grins. I’ve seen it a million times, and it’s still hilarious.
8. Shod or unshod and why?
Ultimately, this is about what’s best for an individual horse, in the light of many factors e.g. The type of work and surfaces the horse is being asked to deal with, the health and structure of the individual’s feet. In my heart, I’d like to say ‘unshod’ (in the same way, I like to say ‘bitless’), but realistically, I’d consider each horse on a case by case basis.
9. Who would you choose to train with? A top rider who is out there winning, or a trainer who no longer competes, but has a great skill in sharing their knowledge?
This is a difficult choice, as, for me, there are only two contenders: Sylvia Loch and Carl Hester.
I’ll go for Carl, until I change my mind in five minutes time!
10. Coffee or freshly squeezed juice? Which one, when?
Coffee, coffee, coffee. But decaffeinated. I do like juice, but I would only have this with breakfast. I drink coffee all the time.
11. Stable job for someone else or unstable self employment? What would be your preferred choice?
I’ve done both of these, so I can speak from experience. Some years ago, I decided to work freelance for a while and I set up my own interim management firm. The original plan was that I would work like crazy for three months on client projects, then take three months off to do quality of life stuff, followed by another three months of work projects, and so on. The reality? I was lucky in that clients would hire me for three months, but then they wanted to retain me for longer stretches, so the three month’s off thing never happened. I could have turned the work down, but the lure of lucrative contract work is hard to resist. Net result, continued long working hours and just as little freedom as working in paid employment. Working freelance can also be an isolating experience until you build up a client base. Oh, and did I mention PAYE, VAT, Companies House filings and the like? Aagh!
On the whole, as I am now, I vote to be a hired gun in someone else’s employ.
My Eleven Questions For My Nominated Bloggers
As I have chosen a mixture of bloggers, with differing interests, I have tried to make the questions applicable to all:
1. Pizza or Indian?
2. Write a review of a favourite restaurant, in three lines.
3. Favourite piece of kit? And why?
4. Tell me about three things you’d like to achieve in the next three years.
5. Tell me a joke (clean only please!).
6. Lottery win? Spend it or save it?
7. Think about yourself. Three strengths?
8. … And three weaknesses?
9. What’s your favourite place, and why?
10. If your house was on fire (and family, friends, pets and horses were safe), what would you save?
11. What inspires you?
My Nominated Bloggers
Aspire Equestrian (had to nominate you, as I read your blog all the time)
From the Horses Mouth
Flying Colours Stables
Plus two others (to be advised. I really must do some packing for Mexico next week!).