I’ve been self-employed for over a year now and thought it was time to take the next step and embrace social media. This means a monthly blog from me, joining Twitter and also making a business page on Facebook!

2013 is considered unlucky by some, the number 13 has never had any influence on me but if it does for you why not think of it as the 14th year since the millennium…glass half full and all that :)

So, an insight into the life of a freelance groom begins with working solidly throughout Christmas and New Year. This isn’t something that bothers me but I did make sure to take the following weekend off and have a break. Since then I have been working my current permanent jobs, this involves starting the day on a livery yard where I offer assistance to the DIY-ers who want their horses turning out or bringing in and I also do a full livery service for a couple of people, it’s a great yard with fantastic facilities and the horses are easy to do. From here I go on to my next job for 10am, a private family yard with a retired pony, a novice event horse and a lovely horse called Jolly who I am lucky enough to have on loan. Jolly is 16 and having previously evented with the family’s youngest daughter is now having a quieter life hacking and competing in dressage with me. On 2 days a week I go straight from here to another private yard where I either muck out 4 boxes or I hack out a rather cheeky but cute Fell pony! I’ve worked this job for a long time on and off since university and it came about through word of mouth which has been invaluable for promoting my business. On the other 3 weekdays I am able to fit in riding Jolly. After this it’s a quick break for lunch, sometimes just a sandwich on the run, other times I’m able to get back home and have a sit-down! I then go back to the livery yard where I start my day as all the horses need to be brought in by 2:30pm; this keeps the fields from getting too muddy due to the awful wet weather. Once I’m finished here it’s home time unless I have any extra work on, sometimes this is working for an event rider (Emily Baldwin) finishing off her yard of 6 and putting them to bed.

At the moment I am trying to take weekends off as it’s important to maintain a good work-life balance but I also use this time to fit in extra jobs like clipping and helping out on the event yard if needed and if I feel I want to earn some extra money!

I’ve spent the second half of this month house-sitting, this is something I really enjoy doing, I’m currently still living at home so it’s great to be able to get away somewhere else for a while! I’ve been looking after 3 horses, 5 dogs, 1 cat, 5 alpacas and 8 chickens…it is fun to be involved with other animals as I spend day-in, day-out with horses and I love dogs! Unfortunately, whilst house-sitting the snow struck, I am not a fan of the snow at all as I find it makes outdoor life so much more difficult. I had to rely on my Dad to drive me around for a couple of days and think snow tyres are definitely going on the list to invest in for next winter! Luckily, the white stuff only lasted for a week and then things were able to resume as normal, fingers crossed we won’t get any more now!

I have also just begun a 5-week online ‘Equine Nutrition’ course from the University of Edinburgh, as I already offer nutritional advice to my clients this is serving as a bit of a refresher and to see what is new on the research side too.

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