My energy level started spiking as soon as the days began to get longer. The Covid weight I put on? It's sliding away not because I'm dieting, but because I'm putting the winter/cold/icky/darkness behind me. The RV has to get ready. We enjoy dry camping at a riding club next to one of the Connecticut state forests. The riding club camp site has to get cleaned, new panels for paddocks, sand for paddocks and leaves raked out. The pasture at home has 32 square yards more sand. Of course the work never ends; however, each year the barn and its amenities get safer and more organized. My horse is sooo amped to get out on the trails with his buddies. So am I!
My work is ever evolving. Laura Claman Equine Solutions is now turning five years old. This is the service side of my business. Training horses and riders at their homes is my favorite aspect of this part, but I also do some regional trailering and saddle fitting. Of course there's some cross-over to the retail side of things with Blazing Saddles Consignment. I started planning this business before the pandemic and opened the shop here in Stafford last March. As we all can't help but be aware, everything had to shut down just after the March opening. We have lots to make up for. The shop hours vary depending on the season. In a sense it's always open whenever needed as I take private appointments outside of the regular hours. The two businesses blend well when I am working with training clients or trailering to local stables and private farms. The Hermes saddles in the photo above had been in an abandoned horse show trailer for 20 years. I'm not planning on selling them for riding use, but I cleaned them up (a lot) to make a cool window display at the shop.
I've found a balance between work, fun with my own horse and private/family/friends life. It won't remain exactly the same because I have future goals to design a better saddle fitting system, writing (two book ideas that could morph into one, will see), and educating myself by learning from other trainers and professionals. I KNOW the cold winters depress me, so this winter I'm planning on going someplace warm to train mustangs and traumatized rescue horses. The logistics are still being worked out (my horse HAS to come too). So the shop will be closed for January and February. I think this will remain a trend as I would like to do future training trips to Peru, Spain, Paris and Germany. Those can wait until foreign travel is easier. My horse will have to get a passport!!
Another evolution of my training work was recently solidified. I have made the choice right now not to teach lessons at a stable with lesson horses and riders. I stick to working with folks at their places with their own horses. It means that we can really focus on forming a positive relationship between horse and rider. While there are numerous skills to develop, the concepts of trust and respect are in the forefront of my training currently. As I recently consciously realized listening to and watching a seasoned and very effective mustang trainer, trust and respect are quite different and both important. So let the New England riding season begin! I'll work on getting myself to sit down at the computer for monthly (minimum) blog posts.