"Classrooms, coaching and cocktails..."
Guest Blog: Sharon Hunt, November 2018
The last few months have been absolutely non stop with exciting new ventures and trips away. I have a motto for life which is "you get out what you put into life" this has certainly been my approach this year and no question that this philosophy is working.
I am currently on 2 coaching courses, selected for the ‘BEF coaches youth pathway development programme ‘ which is an 18 month course and ‘applied psychology for coaches‘ programme which is a 6 month course. Both of which are absolutely fantastic and complement each other perfectly. I love learning and am very comfortable being back in the classroom again. Although my brain does ache at times with all my new knowledge!
Since losing my father last year my role has changed dramatically. I now manage our 60 acre farm (along with plenty of help) but ultimately the responsibility lays with me. This has had implications on my working life as I have many people to manage and look after, along with all my horses and a vast number of pupils I train. This does mean that time is very precious to me now and there is certainly never any spare! However I am so proud of our centre that we are developing, I would never be convinced to swop the stressful days for a quieter life!
We have made huge changes this year - a newly finished xc bank, water jump and re-arranged xc fences mean that we now have excellent training facilities on grass. We have also built the most incredible 35 x 65m Martin Collins Ecotrack outdoor school which I can honesty say this is life changing. This has enabled me to coach all year round no matter what the rain (or lack of!) chooses. The clients have trebled and the future is so bright. My dream of creating an environment in which people can learn and achieve their true goals within a professional, friendly environment and have fun doing so (essential in my opinion!) is now becoming a reality.
My pupils have also had great seasons - niece 13-year-old Aimee began her eventing career and stepped up to 100 level with ease, with a few top 10’s places in the U18 sections. Her goal is the U18s National Championships next year which is certainly looking achievable. She is also starting out in her BD career, already gaining 2 wins and 2 seconds from 4 tests!
Another U18 based rider stepped up to intermediate level with ease, coming 3rd in her first and top 12 in the second.
Another qualified for the Corinthian Cup held at Gatcombe, after several good successes at BE novice level, something not formerly achieved. Others won their respective 90 sections, all in all we had some very happy pupils.
The horses have developed this year beyond my expectations. The 2 Loughnatousa horses - Venture (my show jumper) stepped up to 1.40 level with ease and won at several big shows - Suffolk County, Woodbridge, South Suffolk to name a few. Next year he will aim at some county show Area Trails - which would be incredible and my absolute dream! Loughnatousa Winston stepped up to advanced medium BD, won several competitions and now heads to the regional finals again, hoping to gain qualification for the national championships 2 years running. He is already happily doing his 3 and 4 time changes so advanced level soon. His big aim is Prix St George which is not so far away now! I have 4 lovely young horses that are backed and broken. I have many that are still 2 and younger, naturally they haven’t started yet. The 4 and 5 year olds are divine! Lily, a 4 year old bay mare oozes class and quality, so I am hopeful for her future. Woodwalk Fear Bui - is a dun 16.3hh 5 year old gelding , a new purchase and a complete delight! I did buy him to sell but I can’t see him going anywhere too quickly, he has the most incredible temperament and desire to please. Plus the fact I have always wanted a dun, so we can’t let him go too soon now!! Kevin (also known as ‘Treasure Hunt’) is for sale, but I have managed to keep him so far - this is solely for winter funds not by choice, I would love someone to buy a share in him for me to keep, anyone wishing to co-own a horse or two please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss in more detail. This one really moves and has a super jump, but develops more daily, so the improvement is so fast it’s hard not to get excited about what he could be!
Along with the yearling, 2 and 3 year olds we have 2 stunning foals this year, one is by ‘I’m Special De Muze ‘ which is a colt out of my Lux Z mare, super excited about him as he has such presence already. Also a gorgeous, but rather tall, Casallco colt, out of our wonderful ISH advanced eventing mare ‘Amber‘. These will be weaned tomorrow - luckily they have each other and the mares get some rest, that’s until their next years ones are born!
I have been lucky enough to have a couple of short breaks away - firstly to St Lucia with the family, absolutely superb holiday full of fun and action in the water - water skiing was available so enjoyed this daily, superb exercise and good for the balance and core! We only had 9 days away due to school half term, but long enough to be rested and try most of the cocktail menu ... must have another holiday to eventually finish the rest!
Now just on my way back from the Monart sales in Ireland. Totally different weather and environment, horses everywhere! The Irish certainly know how to put on a good show and sale. The horses are produced so well for this, sometimes we wonder if we will ever get the horse going as well as the producer has and sometimes this is the case and the horse doesn’t go on to achieve anything. But sometimes you find a lovely raw one, an open book with not much done. I was only window shopping as plenty at home to keep me busy, but I will probably go across again in March to find something new...
Sharon will be providing regular guest blog updates about her string of horses, training and competitions so be sure to keep checking back for the latest updates. Interested in training with Sharon? Contact Sharon’s PA at email@example.com or call the office on 01359 244501.