In life we can never know what might be just around the corner and so in my life I try to embrace opportunities and also to offer them to others when ever I can.
In this way one of the most exciting adventures of my life is about to begin. Whilst working for a 5* rider in Holland last winter as a flat rider and manager. It became necessary for me to form a team at very short notice.
Deep in preparation for our show jumping tour In Italy, we were let down rather badly. My employers had paid a man to fly from Brazil to become our show groom. However, whilst I patiently waited at the airport my stomach began to sink as I realized that he was not going to show up. He never did, apparently got off at Portugal and didn’t get on the flight to us! We never heard from him again.
Anyhow, I was incredible lucky to find someone else who came at very short notice from far away as our show groom. Then a girl living locally called Jenny, replied to say she used to compete at 1.40 but hadn’t worked with horses for several years due to illness. She would be slow but would like to try and come back to working with horses.
She ended up becoming a trusted colleague and friend and along with the girl from far away we have many ridiculous and hilarious stories to tell, but I will save that for another day.
Jenny called me a while back to tell me that she thought she had the perfect job for me. A man she was in contact from Sweden (she is Swedish) needed someone to ride six ponies in Dutch Quarantine to train them to become riding club ponies in China!
I would ride the ponies for thirty days in the Netherlands and then fly with them to China. I would spend a month riding them in the Chinese quarantine and another month settling them into the club and helping with the expansion of the business in China.
Now it was a not a simple process! The coordination of buying the ponies organising the dates to work for the fantastic “Horse Services International” who have an outstanding facility. Had to be balanced alongside the non guaranteed Chinese Visa, which I would need and travel arrangements to get from the UK. Like a game of Russian roulette “Should I book my tickets or wait for the visa” “when will the blood tests come for the ponies, should we apply for the Visa before we buy the ponies!!”
I believe if you are on the right path there may be obstacles but things will go your way. When life is an uphill struggle and nothing seems to go well, then maybe you have taken a wrong turn. So I was delighted to be granted a two year multi entry visa which is the very best scenario.
Today is the first day of the project. I arrived at the end of last week and after a few days to get settled in and organised. I am ready for my ponies to arrive soon.
I will be keeping you up to date on their progress and my adventures over the next three to four months. If you would like to know more about riding Clubs in China or the export of horses then please get in touch with Hayfields Equestrian who have fantastic contacts and facilities in Europe and China. You can follow me on instagram or face book #freefillyservices.
That’s all for now folks!!