The time has really flown by since my first arrival here in sunny Spain.
I really thought that I’d have more teething issues with settling in to a new country.
This is the first time I’ve worked and lived overseas and I must say that I’ve been surprised by the ease with which I’ve settled into the rhythm of a new country and work place. The fact that I’m essentially living a short walk away from my place of work has no doubt helped me to settle in that much sooner.
When you’re pretty much living onsite, you quickly begin to get to grips with the comings and goings of the people working for you. I found that after just a couple of weeks, I’d stopped being the ‘new English person’, who was seen walking to the Equestrian School each morning and back again in the late afternoon, and started becoming a regular fixture of the neighbourhood. When you’re so deeply ingrained into a culture, as I am here, it doesn’t take long to recognise the routines and rhythms that rule each day’s work.
Managing an Equestrian School is a role that naturally intertwines with a daily routine. I learnt pretty soon after opening my own place that you couldn’t spend all your time with the horses and students. The time spent teaching others and riding horses might well be enjoyable, but unfortunately it doesn’t contribute to the actual management of the school itself.
The trick to successfully managing an Equestrian School is to understand the daily rhythms of the school: the intricate patterns of the horses’ routine, the rotating shifts of hands and the arrival of eager students.
Once you’ve got to grips with how your School functions on a day-to-day basis then you’ll be able to fit your own responsibilities in alongside them, with the ideal result of you being able to achieve all that you need to in a given day, whilst also having the time to be able to touch base with your instructors, students and horses.
After making a few personnel changes in the early weeks of my management, the team we have here has settled in nicely. My days are long, with my daily activities comprising a mixture of meetings with my instructors, to discuss the progress of our students, my stable hands to talk about the condition of our horses and the groundskeepers, so that I have a watchful eye over the state of the stables and training yard. I’ll know I’ve had a good day when I get to see all my staff, chat to a few of the students and also enjoy a ride out in the beautiful Spanish scrub for a good hour in the afternoon.
I know I’ve had a great day when I get to do all of those things as well as, cleaning my house, working on the little scrap of land in front of it and reading a few chapters of whatever novel I’m reading.