Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Exciting things

The last few months have been rather exciting. So although I haven't been riding, the future is starting to take shape. This year I've been doing a Master's degree in journalism, living at home with my parents while doing the course. It has been incredibly hard work - even more than I thought it would be, but also extremely rewarding.

As part of my course, I had to do a 2 week placement at a newspaper or magazine. I sent out loads of emails with my CV, asking if they would take a work experience placement, but had very little success. However, I then sent an email to Horse magazine - one of the national monthly equestrian magazines - and had a reply within about 20 minutes, saying that I could definitely go there and to let them know my dates. It was so exciting - writing for a magazine like that has been a dream for so long!

Horse is based in London, so I had to leave Echo with the person who shares the field. It was the most awesome two weeks ever - I got to write one of the magazine's main news articles on horse passports (on which I am now an expert!) and then do all sorts of interesting things, including interviewing Joanne Eccles, the World champion vaulter, writing an article on building your own stables and writing captions for readers' photos of their horses.

It was tough, particularly writing the news article - I am much more of a features specialist and I found the hard news style quite a challenge, but they were happy with it and it got published in this month's edition, which was unbelievably exciting! I have more things in the issue coming out at the end of this month too, so my name should keep appearing for a while.

I left there on a real high - then a week later, just as I was finishing all my university work, I had an email from the editor, commissioning me to write two more features for them - paid this time - for future issues. How flattering is that?! I was absolutely over the moon. It's come at a pretty tricky time though...I had to finish all the work for last semester; I'm also teaching part time at a local school to earn enough money to live, then I've also been marking exam papers, so time-wise it wasn't great...but I did it! I have now written an article on the information you need if you're considering sharing a horse and one on adults who choose to ride ponies rather than horses. The latter, particularly, was great fun and I got to speak to some really interesting people.

I think the editor was pretty happy with what I wrote, and she's said she'll keep me in mind for future articles - I have also said that I will continue to suggest feature ideas, as it shows enthusiasm and commitment. And NOW...a job has just come up at one of the other national equestrian magazines. But it's in the wrong place in the country. Damn. I think I'm going to apply for it anyway, as the experience of applying is so useful, but seriously - I would LOVE that job.

So with my career looking a little more structured, I can fill you in on what's been happening with Echo. The answer? Not a lot. Her mysterious weight-loss problem disappeared when we moved them onto a field with lots of grass (funny that!) and she is now probably too far the other way. We had our field fertilised and rested for a few weeks, and now they're back on it and looking really well. I now just need to get her back into work!

With the articles done and everything at uni except my final project finished, I can start spending a bit more time with her now. I lunged her yesterday and it was a bit depressing - she was absolutely wild - has forgotten all her manners and didn't seem interested in doing what I wanted her to at all. However, the reason I am all motivated to get her going again is that I have just bought a new saddle! It was a bit of an impulse buy - I saw it on ebay and the auction was ending soon. It was a good price and the style and size that I have been told she needs, so I just went for it! It arrived today and I put it on after lunging her. Now, I don't trust my judgement at all, so I have a saddler coming out next week to look at it, but I think it might fit. She is bound to lose her excess weight when she starts working properly, so there will have to be some adjustment, but it does look like it sits on her quite well.

I will have a proper look at it on Thursday and perhaps lunge her in it. She was much more sane and sensible today, so it seems that she hasn't forgotten everything after all. I absolutely can't wait to get back on - it's been far too long!

The next bit of news is that we're moving back to where we were soon - but I'll write more about that next time. We will be here until the end of July, then moving back to our old area...although not our old yard, as my change of career is going to require DIY livery. And perhaps a sharer, but more about that later too!


Suzie said...

I should also add that I could not have done either of the two articles without the help of my awesome blogging friend Wiola, who has been utterly briliant at providing expert words and finding me useful people to speak to.

Kelly said...

So happy for all the good changes in your life! Keep posting updates - special place in my heart for black & white cuties :)

achieve1dream said...

So awesome!! I'm glad things are coming together for you. :) And that you get to spend more time with Echo. And that she put weight back on. If she lost it while not on grass (was she in a stall?) do you think it could have been ulcers? I can't wait for another update. Congrats on the writing experience and paid articles. That's so awesome!

DressagePonyDiva said...

Excellent news on the magazine articles, that's fantastic! It is something I would love to get into myself. I would also love to hear what you have written about adults riding ponies as I am an adult pony rider, and that is what my blog is about!

Daily adventures while training my young horse.