Relationships….

The most challenging relationship we will ever have…Is the one we have with ourselves!

20140617-203708-74228021.jpgIt is by far the most difficult to understand, and just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, something happens and you react completely differently to the way you thought you would!

It’s funny that  we grow to “realise that nothing is forever”, and that “things can happen when we least expect it”, and yet still, even with this knowledge, we are always left saying…

“Why me? or “How could this possibly be happening?”

The people around us are just as complex as we are, yet somehow, though different relationships, we come to learn which people we can trust and which ones we can’t…

Which is more than we can say for our own emotions!

Some relationships are built on dependency, with one person lesser than the other.

This used to be predominantly the male,  but post 1950 and the rise of womans rights, and now it’s just as likely to be the woman in charge.

I was reminded of this today when I saw a woman walking the dog, with the husband walking 5 steps behind with the poo bag….fantastic!;)

The most destructive type of relationship you can have with a person, is jealousy.

I was envious of my sister my entire life, and when I finally talked to her about it, turns out she had always felt the same toward me.

Unfortunately we let this attitude rule our relationship, and we still hope that one day we can find the calm from within ourselves to make peace when we are together.

To be jealous of someone, is to lack the ability to see yourself as anything better, and I have found in life that the best thing you can hope to do is to always turn jealousy or envy, into admiration!

By admiring people we allow ourselves the chance to grow, not through imitation, but through leadership.

And not only that, but we leave room for the possibility that somewhere, someone else may just be admiring us!

Jealousy in a love relationship, simply means a lack of trust, and by the time jealousy becomes an issue, there is a whole lot more going on underneath signaling danger!

The other major threat to a relationship is judgement, and again the person we affect most with our own judgement is ourselves.

Until we learn to accept our own weaknesses, we will never forgive those in others.

I  have talked about happiness, and really the key to happiness is not just about your mind-set, but also about making the necessary adjustment in your attitude.

Positivity, they say, is a person who can see a glass of water and say “the glass is half full”, but I believe it to be far more complex!

It’s really about saying, “yes, the glass is half empty, it could have more water in it for sure, but I’m going to be happy with the amount I’ve got, and make the most I can out of it”! 😉

It’s about turning a “thunderstorm”, into a “fascinating climatic experience”, or a “bloody weak cup of coffee” into a “relaxing way to warm up”, lol!

It’s about making that small adjustment, to move yourself from one state into another.

To let go of fear, and embrace good sense and caution.

Eliminated jealousy, but admire as much as you can.

Don’t judge, but instead learnt to accept.

Destroy loneliness, by finding strength in independence.

And if all else fails, trust in the relationship you have with your animals 😉

Our relationship with horses is special, because it’s ours, and it is even.

He doesn’t judge us, or question us, and while he may frustrate us, he can teach us a lot about ourselves, and our ability to work through the tough issues.

20140617-183818-67098487.jpgA dog has an owner, a chief, a leader.

A cat has a slave, preferably more than one.

But a horse….has a partner, and we are lucky to share that partnership from on top of his back ;)!

 

Happiness….

20140617-183818-67098276.jpgWhen we are young, happiness is easy!

Give us an icecream, and you can pretty much be assured we will be realitively pleased with the world.

As we grow up, we learn to doubt, fear, suppress, and take on board all the things that can pull us away from happiness.

Other people can do it through sheer spite or jealously, the world can do it through ill-fortune, ill-health, or plain bad luck….

Or, and most importantly, we can do it, by allowing ourselves to be weighed down by all the hundreds of millions of reasons why we may not be happy.

They say the “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, and no matter who you are, or what you have, you will always search for more.

Searcing for more, or trying to achieve greatness, is fine, in fact it’s healthy!

But saying to yourself, I am not good enough, I am not worthy, or strong, or well enough, or I will never be as good as someone else, and you will make that your reality.

I’m not saying this because I am one of those lucky people who can see the bright side in everything.

I’m saying this because for 10 years I had severe depression, and I know now, that NO-ONE, and nothing, could have saved me, but me.

Happiness, in the end, is a state of mind, and it took a lot of determination, and will power, to say “I can pull myself out of it”!

I did, in the end, and now I can see the good in most things, mostly  because  for a long time I could only see the bad.

However, you can not tell a person who is down, or beaten, or depressed, to just “be happy”, or to see the bright side, it is something they have to pull out from within themselves.

Luckily now, I thank my mum everyday, that I am living my dream riding horses, and if I never win a single test, I am just so happy everytime I enter the stable, and see my beautiful horses, and the look on their face when they see me :)!

Happiness in dressage is not in winning, but in teaching your horse the flying change, and his proud expression when he knows he did it right!

Watching on a stormy day as the world drifts away from you, and in an arena full of chaos, you and your horse work in your own bubble.

And luckily for me, in addition to my horses, if you give me an icecream, i’m pretty much all set!!

 

Happiness

Everybody wants it, but it’s not so easy to get,

If you don’t appreciate it, you haven’t been hurt yet.

It comes and goes like the seasons, lifts us up when we are down,

you won’t know how much you miss it, until it’s no longer around.

Bad people try to buy it, or steal it from their friends,

but in the end they’ll loose out, cause this is one thing that depends…

On forgiveness, trust and kindness, on going after the things that count,

Being good to others, is really what it’s all about.

Some don’t know they have it, until it goes away,

and will try to recreate it, with each new passing day.

If you think you cannot get it, try to share your neighbors pile,

It may not be the real thing, but it will keep you for a while.

It will come when you least expect it, although it may not stay so long,

The sorrow that follows this feeling, only much us that more strong.

Enjoy it when you have it, and care for those that don’t,

But always believe “I will be happy”, and never say “I won’t”.

People…What type of person are you?

When I was young I found old people fascinating.

20140617-183817-67097552.jpgThey don’t know how to update their status, or tweet, or even use capslock on the computer, but they know more than we will ever know.

They have seen the world before us, lived through war, survived famine, and in today’s world of texting your emotions, and “beware of the neighbour”, I envy their sense of community.

Rich people, can become ruled by that title, and if you count the number of rich people you know on your fingers, then put the finger down if they are unhappy, you can usually end up with a fist.

Poor people, get lost in our consumer society, or perhaps they lose the will to care.

I once gave a sandwich, (a good one!), to a homeless man on the street, and he threw it at me and swore in Russian.

Yes, I felt pity for him, but I meant nothing by it, and ended up feeling far worse, and minus one sandwich.

Some people can dream, and laugh and smile, no matter how bad things get, and I envy those people, as I am a little bit of a stresser ;).

I have learnt however, to take in the good people, and block out the bad.

In a society who cares far too much about what other people think, it’s up to you to decide what you take to heart and what you don’t.

For sure ,people are funny creatures….

They put each other down, abuse each other, and sometimes forget that we are all in it together.

Perhaps that is why so many people seek animal companionship, cause an animal will never judge or humiliate you.

They won’t comment on what you’re wearing or how deathly awful your hair looks, or your voice sounds.

They seek your approval and nothing more, and will do anything to get it.

20140617-183817-67097171.jpgIf only people were as simple!

Instead of asking yourself what type of person you are…ask yourself what type of person you want to be?

A lot can change in the space of a month, a year…..four months 😉

YOU CAN….be a dreamer

and if you can’t be, don’t tell the dreamers they can’t either!

Addictions….

20140617-183816-67096226.jpgA wise woman once told me that everyone is addicted to something….

Some have the more well known addictions, like smoking or alcohol, while others addictions can be less obvious, some good and others bad.

Some people are addicted to reading, some researching, some can’t live without caffeine, and others can’t concentrate until they have had that morning cup of tea.

20140617-183815-67095256.jpgPerhaps some people become addicted to other people, and become so much a part of someone else they forget who they are themselves.
I remember that after more than 60 years of marriage my grandparents had become practically a two person in one package, and when my grandpa left first, my grandma lost a sense of what she was really doing here.

20140617-183814-67094492.jpgI’m addicted to running, not because I think I am unfit, but because it is the one time in my life that I feel no-one can touch me.

Ridiculous, as of course I am not so fast that I am invincible, yet (lol), but something about it makes me feel free.

20140617-183814-67094192.jpgThe same goes when I am on my horse, and my usual very busy mind becomes quiet.
I have often been told that people are surprised by how concentrated I am on the horse, given my rather uncalm personality, but perhaps I have just found the thing that I was meant to do.

20140617-183813-67093674.jpgSo then, what is your addiction? What can’t you live without?

And what is it about being on top of a horse, that you cannot live without?

I know I couldn’t!

Memories

Everyday, every second, we see and hear things that remind us of different times in our lives, different people, different events.

20140617-183813-67093474.jpgWhen I see a father kiss his son, I am reminded how much I miss my father…

When I see an old couple walking hand in hand, I’m reminded of my grandparents…

When I see love and admiration on someone’s face, I think of all the times I have seen that or felt that in my life.

Songs in particular, remind us of different people, or certain feelings, and while some songs may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, others have you rushing madly for the OFF switch on the radio!

Some of mine include…

What songs mean what to you?

Or what is the hardest thing for you to look at and not be taken back to a place that you remember with perfect clarity?

Memories are what we take will us everywhere we go, in everything we do.

Perhaps that is why I enjoy horse riding so much, because for the 60 or so minutes everyday on my horse, I am not thinking about the past or even the future, and I can just be PRESENT!

They say only a surfer knows the feeling, but I think a horse rider has a fair idea :)!

Horses also have memories, and will never forget being treated unfairly, or with force!

I wondered if the horse, when in total concentration with his rider, can also block out the world, and I believe this to be absolutely true.

Someone tried to tell me that a horse doesn’t remember, that if you do the perfect flying change, and then stop after the diagonal and give him a sugar lump (my treat of choice) he will not recognise that the reward was for the change.

20140617-183812-67092708.jpgHow come then, after just two times of doing this, my horse new to stop immediately after a good change and turn his head round to receive his sweet reward, but after a bad change he knew not to bother?

Stare into the eyes of your horse, and ask yourself if he remembers you, the eyes never lie.

The same as with the people we let into our lives 🙂

Did you miss the sneak peak of Anja Beran?

You can never go back….

You can forgive but not forget…You can never go home again…You can’t teach an old dog new tricks….

20140617-183811-67091143.jpgYou cannot change the past, only work for a brighter future!

We all know the sayings, and we are often reminded of their importance in our lives.

I was reminded when I returned home to Australia for christmas. My mum is and will always be the most important person in the world to me, but I realised that home truly is in my case “Where the horse is”, and that Australia no longer felt like the place where I belong.

Perhaps you really can’t ever go home again, or perhaps in creating a new home, a part of you changes and you no longer fit into the gap that you once did.

I think it is true you never forget, and even the people who I have forgiven throughout my life, a trust once lost is lost forever.

Luckily this is not true of horses, and while I believe that an animal can lose its trust in us, we are blessed in that if we work hard enough, in time they will forgive us.

When I was 5 my grandfather told me to throw my cat into the lake. So I did.

Of course the cat no longer came to me, and it took nearly three months of constant apologising until finally the cat returned to lie peacefully at the foot of my bed during the night.

Luckily horses are smart, and they can trust in the ones they know have faith and trust in them.

My pony would not let my father catch him in a 4×3 metre arena, but I could limbo under his belly and sit on him while he slept.

One thing I know for sure, is that you can’t change the past, and dwelling on it does no good at all.

A bad ride, is one less bad ride, and we must then focus our attention on the stand out ride we will have tomorrow!

20140617-183823-67103514.jpgAs for the future of our sport, I think Anja Beran has some stand out philosophies…

Sometimes we can’t go back, but we can sure try to capture what the great classical masters created over a century ago!

Sneak Peak of Anja Article- Full copy in EQUINE EXCELLENCE printed Australian Equestrian Magazine

People

People! Sometimes it’s the people we meet that change our view of the world! Moving to the other side of the globe, alone, was not easy, and I was often asked the question “you’re here, living alone, all by yourself…why?” Anyone who knows horses, stopped when I said, “My horse is here”, the non horse […]

Dreaming

20140617-203709-74229211.jpgEveryone has a dream. It can be big, or small, sensible, or ridiculous, but it is in our nature as humans to desire, to aim, to hope, to be something, to do something, to go somewhere.

However sometimes we spend so much time dreaming, we don’t realise that at some point we actually start living our dream.

It may not be exactly how we imagined it, and they day we stop pushing ourselves for me, is the day when we should raise the white flag in defeat.

Many people tell me I will never reach my ultimate dream, but at some point, I realised it doesn’t really matter, as the fun I am having on the way, is really what dreaming is all about!

In recognition of Mental Health Week, I want to put the idea out there, that the greatest saddest thing about someone with depression, is that they have lost the ability to dream.

More sad though, are those people who have no dream, and instead spend their energy putting out the dreams of others.

Mental Health Week Poem…

There is a cloud that falls upon us, that cloaks us in defeat,

A cloud of blackened silence, of which we take retreat.

You cannot see it coming, although you may feel it always there,

a trap ready to catch you, a panic, a terror, a scare.

The strongest can push through it, and find the light once more,

while others vanish in the darkness, forgetting what they once saw.

Forgetting the life beyond the black, and why they loved their peers,

losing sight of all their hopes and DREAMS, and given in to all their fears.

Depression should not be silenced, and it’s victims should feel no shame,

For if others knew the pain of it, they would suffer just the same.

“Just be happy, or get over it”, will surely not be the key,

But hold on tight, and stand by them, and hope that one-day they may be free.

The power of the mind!

The mind, it’s power to lift us up, or push us down, is beyond what we imagine possible.

20140617-171337-62017289.jpgMy dad used to tell me a story of how in Aboriginal times, there was one ritual, that portrayed the ability of man’s belief, and how a thought can be become a reality if our minds find it to be true!

The leader of the tribe would stand in the centre of a circle with an animal bone, and a tribal member who had committed a sin against his tribe would have the bone pointed towards him, signifying his doom!

 

So it was that within three days the man would die!

 

And I wondered as a little girl, did that bone really possess some evil power?

But no, it was the power of this mans own belief that he was doomed, that triggered his sudden demise.”

The horse, is a mind that I find fascinating…

Have you ever looked right into a horses eye, and asked yourself what he is thinking?

Why he lets up hop on his back, and ride around happily?

Why, when he could easily throw us off, he instead responds to a rein aid, one that he has learned over time to respect?

Horses are fascinating, and their role in my, and I’m sure many peoples lives, is something we may never truly appreciate nor understand.

Each horse is a personality, and I love asking the question, “If your horse was a person who would he be?”

Is he is a John Wayne, or a James bond, or is she a Marilyn or a Roxanne?

Whoever your horses are, you need to understand them, get to know them, to truly know what they are about!

Our relationship to the horse is different than with dogs or cats, not just because we ride them, but because of their curiosity.

Someone once told me, a dog looks up at you, a cat looks down on you, but a horse….. Looks you straight in the eye!

Training article, Who is the horse?

Boxes…

Throughout our entire lives we are put into boxes…

At school, it’s the nerds, the musics (band members), the smarts, the sporty/populars, whatever box you fit in, that is where you are put.

As life goes on the boxes don’t actually change, but can alter, as we choose our life path.

Some people have their own box and decide it is a box just for them, while others join a box with a mate, and make little people to fill up that box.

Even religion has a box…

Christians believe in god…

Agnostics believe they are not sure what to believe….

Atheists are certain they don’t believe..

Children and animals don’t need to worry, as they still believe in people!

It is therefore our job to look after our horses, earn their trust, and then RESPECT it!

I have recently been working on an article about horses and emotions, and the very rare occasions when a horse and rider pair become an US!

We know the ones, Gal and Totilas, Anky and Bonfire, Reiner Klimke and well almost all of his horses lol

It’s interesting to consider how often a rider buys a horse at GP level, and really creates something truly magical, or alternatively, a rider trains a horse to  EXCEL at GP level, and then once the horse is sold, it never produces that special something again!

In the world of dressage, everything fits in a box.

Judges sit in boxes, horses physically live in boxes, (lucky horses live in box-shaped paddocks), and horses are also emotionally put into different boxes.

Sensitive/Lazy, Lusitano/Warmblood, Hot/Calm, Friendly/Arrogant, we all know a horse of every type.

But how much of what a horse becomes is because of his environment, or even his RIDER?

We have all seen it, the rider that shies ten seconds before the horse does.

So how much of our personality is reflected in our horse.

Or how much of our own tension or relaxation, do we transmit to our horse on a daily basis.

Perhaps the true talent of an exceptional rider, is learning to harness their own power, creating a box free from the outside world pressures, a box that they share with just one other being… their horse!

Pick Yourself Up

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PICK YOURSELF UP…DUST YOURSELF OFF

Whoever came up with that saying, was clearly a horserider….

Horseriders learn from an early age, to pick themselves up……

After a fall, after a bad ride, and your seemingly sweet shetland pony purposefully plopped his hoof down on your foot…WITH EXTRA FORCE!

When you are young, the “dust yourself off” part is a little easier, but the horseriding mothers will tell you that after a few kids, and a couple of bad falls, the neck and back don’t BOUNCE back like they used to….

Riding since before I could walk I learnt the “get back on that horse” lesson very quickly. and it is a lesson that has enabled me to be where I am today….

If anyone tells you that moving overseas ALONE to train and ride horses is easy…they’re lying!

I have often been asked, “You live here ALONE?, no family???”

Yes, I answer, as if they are the stupid ones for asking the question.

It wasn’t easy at first, but gradually, your new international friends become your family, and your horses become your friends.

I met someone recently who asked why I don’t like kids, and I said I prefer horses….

He answered, “Yes, but you can’t have a relationship with a horse….”

After I quickly deleted his number from my phone I thought about the relationship I have with my horses, and have had with horses all my life.

They know people far better than people know people….

I don’t have to tell my horse if I’m in a bad mood, or if I’m tense.. he knows, and will usually tell me just how well he knows by giving me extra cheek!

But, just as I learnt as a child, to brush the sand off, and get back in the saddle, a rider knows to let people’s comments fly right by, to just deal with the days when you horse is flying around like a looney or ignoring you completely, and be happy with the person you are….after all, your horse loves you!

So you should love him back….NO TO ROLL KUR (article with head of anti Roll Kur campaign!)

The Things We Can’t Control

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Classical Training – The things we can’t control!

A major part of training is accommodating, adapting, preventing, or avoiding, the many aspects of riding that we cannot control!

The four major ones that come to mind include weather, weakness, pain and time.

Weather is an element that every rider must face, and no matter how fantastic your riding facilities are, there will always be times when weather will effect your training.

Rain is obvious, and for the many who do not have the luxury of an indoor school, rain can cause major training interruptions.

I was once asked…”Why the hell were you just riding in the rain when we have an indoor?”

Whilst I could have ridden in the shelter of the indoor arena, I chose this day to ride in the rain for one major reason…

It can, and MORE than often DOES, rain at competitions, and there is no point arriving on the day of the test, to realize your horse can’t stand being out in that kind of weather!

Not only should you get your used to training in the rain, but also training the TEST in the rain, as we have all seen the horse that trots up on the most beautiful straight centerline, halts to perfection, and then attempts to turn his back end towards the frontward pelt!

The same goes for wind, heat, flies, dust….If you never let your horse experience these kinds of conditions then how can you expect him to go well when you are out, which is already a scene with a more heightened atmosphere.

HOWEVER, while you must allow your horse to be familiar with these conditions you must also be smart about it…

Don’t ride him out in the wind if you know you don’t have solid control!

Don’t ride around in the rain for long periods if it is freezing, and don’t fly around in the heat for hours on end just to test your stamina.

Gently introduce these aspects into training, but never avoid them completely.

The second unavoidable aspect is Weakness, which of course comes in many shapes and sizes, and can be both horse or human related, to varying degrees.

Sometimes a weakness can be so great that the ENTIRE training focus throughout the horses ENTIRE working life must be tailored to accommodate his specific floor… and the same goes for the rider.

If a rider has a weaker left leg, or pulls too much on the right rein, the teaching they receive for their riding career will need to constantly monitor these weaknesses, to ensure the rider can manage them and continually improve on them during training.

On the other hand, a horse’s weakness can be anything from a hollow back, a tendency to put weight in the shoulders, to more simply a mind that is easily distracted…

With all of these weaknesses a rider must CONTINUALLY accommodate and monitor their existence, and while a lot of them can be improved, the minute these aspects are forgotten they will appear, time and time again!

Pain…well, if you ask a rider if they have back pain and they tell you NEVER, I either don’t believe them, or wonder that perhaps they are not really riding!

If you watch professional horse riders walk home after a long day, it is more like a waddle than a walk, often with one hand supporting the lower back!

Pain, particularly back pain, is something we must all accommodate, and sometimes it can be simple things like not riding in the morning, as you know that’s when the pain is at its worst.. etc

Time is something we all seem to run out of, whether it be because our kids have to be picked up from school,  the farrier is coming, we are already late for work… we all have to mould our training around certain time schedules.

A simple way to maximize your time is of course to keep a daily agenda, but if you are not that organized then obvious things like having your tack room well organized to cut down the preparation time, when added up, can actually make a difference.

Inspired…

20140617-203709-74229421.jpgWith the Olympic dressage taking over my world, I love writing about, and learning about, all the superstars of the dressage world, from the riders, farriers, grooms, vets, to the judges, and most importantly the HORSES!

Having recently had my first lesson with one of the WORLD’s top dressage Judges, Mariette Withages, I was more keen than ever to get myself to the top, and work together with my two horses to edge our way closer and closer to GP!
I found that the lesson, while incredibly rewarding, also gave me new direction, new motivation, new LIFE!

20140617-203709-74229488.jpgBut also watching the world’s top riders take to the London arena, rider’s like me, who aspire to one day be in the same position,feel not only the butterflies, but also the victories!

Now when I make the perfect change, or take flight across the arena in extended, I feel one step closer to where they are today, and know that even if I never get there, I have enjoyed every minute of the journey….

Riding dressage for me, is not about the test, but about the training, it’s like teaching a child to walk, or a dancer to flow with the rhythm…

Every small success I have, I feel stronger, my horses feel proud of their own accomplishments, and when I put them in the box, they look to me knowing they have deserved that extra apple!

The great thing about our sport, is we learn everyday in steps, because we learn with a partner, an equal, and what other sport is there where two entities must work so closely, so intimately, in pursuit of their ultimate goal!

I LOVE DRESSAGE!

Full article on Lesson with Mariette Withages will be up on Eurodressage after London!

The Olympic excitement, also got me thinking about training for different conditions, and made me wonder how much time our top riders must put into planning for the “what could happens?”……

See article here on the topic…. “The Things We Can’t Control!”

Feelings…

This blog is about how I feel when… I drink a Portuguese coffee…

I watch a Horseball match..which is pretty much polo on crack!

I am trapped in a room listening to a child play the recorder…

But in terms of a  horseriders feelings and emotions, these are defined very much by how the ride went that day…

I was thinking that I feel very sorry for the husbands/wives/girlfriends/dogs…etc etc, of horsey people, as after a bad ride they behave much like a football fan who has just lost the match of the season…

The other reason I feel sorry for the significant others, is they are constantly getting left behind….
20140617-183811-67091143.jpgHAVE YOU EVER seen a horse person walking at a normal speed. Horse people walk like wind up toys, and can often be seen marching off in different directions, finding it extremely difficult to actually walk as a pair with anyone!

Horses emotions, on the other hand, are dominated by two things….herd instinct, and their STOMACH….

When a rider says the horse is having a bad day, chances are it is either feed time, OR, the rider is having a bad day and of course it’s the horses fault! lol

Just remember…riding is a game of patience, and just like HUMANS, everyone has their days, and their….

Read about the  RECORD BREAKING DRESSAGE HORSE OF THE WORLD……

Photos above courtesy of Coudelaria Correia de Mendonça


 

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Journies…

20140617-183819-67099369.jpgSo my journey began on an Australian cattle farm, that turned into an Avocado farm, but that for me was always about the horses on the property… and of course the dogs.

I grew up with a pointer named Beron, but the top dog of my life is my (now my mum’s) Weimaraner Maddie (Midori), who is both wickedly clever and knowingly beautiful!

The avocado farm today is run by my sister Katrina and her GROWING family, but my mum is still top dog I’m sure, and has stayed on to watch over the farm as she enjoys training her imported Lusitano ALANCELOT!

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The farm will always be my home, it is the place where I learnt to ride, and to dream!,

The Bluestone hut is still standing, the place that started it all…..

But I  have found a home in Portugal, and when people ask me if I am ever lonely i answer a definite no! I think that loneliness is a state of mind, just like boredom is inherent in boring people!

I have my two best friends in the world, training and working with me everyday, and with technology today I actually feel that my relationship with my mother in particular is as strong as ever.

Adopting the role of INTERNET TRAINER, I speak to my mum via Skype every night, and I find the conversations to be ALOT more rewarding than the ones you have when you are at home.

“dinner’s ready…did you get the mail?…. has been replaced by actually sit down, focused, in-depth discussions about my training, my life, her life, the farm etc…

People say technology has made us distant, but I would argue that it actually connects us and makes us more aware of this time, and more prepared to use it effectively!

So my journey in Portugal is never lonely, and the people I have met here have been exciting, passionate, hysterical, and talented, sometimes all at once!

The Portuguese mum, for example, of which I now have several, are like a cross between Martha Stewart and Donna hay, and I realised very early on why so many grown men still live with mummy!

My Portuguese journey is as much about the TRAINING as it is the horses, and so here is where my journey began, my very first classical training article, as I began my riding life in Portugal with the soon to be Olympian Gonçalo Carvalho Conchinhas.

Classical training…the beginning, click here

Photos above courtesy of Coudelaria Correia de Mendonça


 

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