Hi! You are now my most important witness. Thank you for reading! Let’s start…
There were years when making resolutions at some specific time didn’t appeal to me. I was making them all the time, making plans, ticking boxes. Dreaming. Doing. Failing. Getting Up. Driving on. The Tabula Rasa concept was not a day in the year for me but a state of mind. It still is, however, this year I decided to go with the flow here since this time my goals are more meaningful to me than ever.
Before I list them I would like to invite you to join me on my 2014 journey, as a supporter or a critic, co-traveller or ass kicker 😉 Your presence out there is important to me because it makes me triple accountable: first to the riders and horses I work with, second to myself and third to people like you who maybe, just maybe, believe in this whole project.
Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy‘s main goals for 2014:
1) To make a difference and inspire 100 more riders to join our residential training programmes and mobile Intensive Training Days.
I will create 100 more places on Aspire programmes for riders of all levels from complete beginners to ambitious amateur riders and provide them with an exceptional service meaning always striving to be bespoke, rider – centred and progressive but also friendly, non-violent and logical to the horse.
The most important part here is to connect with those people who share our values so we can improve grassroots services one rider at a time.
2) To continue providing high level of coaching services to current riders.
The riders who have been riding with us over the years have contributed to Aspire Equestrian being what it is today: a riding programme that will fight on to shake things around at the lower levels. I will create even more great opportunities for these riders to learn, explore and fall in love with riding over and over again every single time they smell a horse 🙂
3) To provide the same learning opportunities to riders without own horses as those available for horse owners.
This is something which has been at the core of Aspire’s existence from the very beginning but I want to do more here next year. Every person interested in learning to ride should be able to have a go at it in a quality way. Many wonderful people who might otherwise ride throughout their lifetime drop out of the sport not because they no longer enjoy horses but because they are too fond of them to carry on the abusive methods.
4) To inspire other grassroots riding instructors to make a change.
There are many fabulous coaches who leave the “riding school environment” because they don’t want to deal with the low level of service they are forced to provide. Grassroots, low level sport and recreation needs those coaches to speak up, seek solutions beyond what’s traditionally set. Horse Riding doesn’t have to become a “fast food” activity. It’s unique, interactive, fulfilling and educational but only when done with empathy. Leadership is not bullying. Responsibility and compassion are not born out of shouting and wrestle. Horsemanship is such a fascinating life journey which can be a lifelong hobby for so many and yet it is fast disappearing. I want to connect with more instructors out there who want riding schools to stop closing and instead be commercially successful, inspiring and value adding.
A side note: A couple of months ago I started yoga. There are hundreds of people coming each day to this little yoga centre. Each session is almost 2 hours long. They come to reflect, immerse themselves in something new, challenge their bodies and calm their mind. Horses can do all this for us and so much more…Yes they are more expensive to keep than a yoga mat but if we as instructors teach what we ourselves would love to be taught, there will be people out there ready to happily pay for the feeling they get during riding and afterwards!
5) To help Aspire’s young instructor in Poland with setting up her client base and support her with her own training
I have a fabulous, committed young instructor working with me on Aspire’s courses in Poland. I want to set up a regular base in my home country which will be managed by this instructor.
6) To put together a well thought out strategy for Aspire’s crowd-funding campaign so it can bring value to those who support it and provide the spring board for further goals
This is something I’ve been thinking of for a couple of years and finally have the courage to go for it. Part of me was always worried we wouldn’t get the support we needed but I’d rather try and fail than never know…The reason I will go the crowd funding path is that I want a project that other riders, instructors and people who believe in the programme can feel real co-ownership with. Crowd funding allows everybody to get involved with as little as a couple pounds/dollars/euro and it lets me give something in return too. I like the ethos of supporting causes we believe in and then giving back to supporters so the campaign will be part of the big step forwards for Aspire.
7) To add value every time I teach
The most important part of all this freelancing for me is to bring value and to make a difference; To bring smiles, enjoyment but also culture of discipline and respect for the horse.
8) To remain a student in attitude
I want to continue to grow, learn and develop as a coach, rider and a business person.
9) To write regularly a useful content on this very blog!
These are my main goals. They seem huge to me right now but there are also many mini-steps I have set myself up to help me take Aspire’s programmes to the next level. Apparently, if “If Your Dreams Do Not Scare You, They Are Not Big Enough” Mine are plenty big and scary. The 2014 goals seem very realistic in comparison 😉 [thank you to Becky from http://kickingon.wordpress.com/ for sending me link to the above article].
What are your scary dreams?
Now that I got you as my witness, critic, pressure putter, observer etc please do share your goals with me! You can leave a comment or just post a link to your blog with your own 2014 game plan 🙂 I would love to read it, whether it’s horses, travel, food or fashion. Passion is passion. It’s addictive and exciting!
To end I would like to share this video with you because I want it to be my go-back to footage if I feel like hiding under the table sometime next year 😉