I didn’t win! So I left the BHS Young Instructor of the Year final quite disappointed. Having said that, it was a great experience and I did learn a lot, so overall I am pleased that I entered. It was good to meet other people of my own age, following similar paths and also the judges who were all Fellows of the BHS. It is a fabulous opportunity to take part in such a competition and I will be going back next year for another try.
Last Saturday I visited Oldencraig EC in Surrey to interview for a riding and teaching position and was wowed by the tremendous facilities and rows upon rows of dressage horses
! Vicki Thompson-Winfield and her husband Ian have created a 5* hotel for horses and it really is luxurious. No doubt the quality of horses there would be fantastic and guidance from Vicki would be superb for my dressage skills. I wonder if they will call…
It is an interesting time as I am now back in Kent, having been away at University in Sheffield for 3 years, then working in London for 4 years, then in Northants at Brampton for 18 months and then Ireland for 6 months. So I am having to rebuild a network and relearn about the opportunities in the area. I have some school friends remaining here and of course my family but it will take time to feel established in work and life.
I have the BHS SM exam in a couple of weeks and I have been training with Tessa Martin-Bird FBHS at her Sussex home. She is great and has given me lots more confidence. I will do my best and hope for the best. I also went up to Ingestre earlier in the month for a day with Rob Lovatt FBHS and Tim Downes FBHS who were excellent. I need to speak more and make sure my points are clear, in order to show the examiners that I am confident and knowledgeable.
Good news – I am teaching at Deepdene Stables in Badlesmere near Faversham on a Monday and Wednesday evening, which is a great start to my working life in Kent. This time next year I hope to be very busy with teaching, training students, riding and competing. I realise it will take time for my profile to build and for demand to grow. I feel ‘out in the real world’ now, having spent a long time training to get to this point. Plenty more to learn but ready to get stuck in.
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Anna is available for teaching, training and riding in the SE of England.
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