Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

What a ride :)

OMG what an *amazing* year.  First I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to all the people who've supported us from the beginning.  Jan 1 I had four horses and about 15 students.  Of the originals, all the students and three of the horses are still with me :)   Woohoo!   Now?  Well substantially farther along :)   A lot more work though!

We started at one farm -- a great starter location -- and then moved an amazing step up :)   Would like to take a second to recognize my amazing working students from the year.   At the old place were Hailey, Amy and Kennedy and at the new place Kennedy is still hard at work and joining her are Micaela, Brena and Rebecca -- all of whom I'm thrilled with.  Possibly even Paula too (comeon - help me convince her :)   It's going to be a very fun year!

HUGE shout out to my parents who've both been actively involved in helping me with my business.  Mum helping with all the business side of operations and Dad in the barn day to day with me helping with chores and tractoring.  Totally unexpected and way beyond appreciated.  Most lucky child ever :)

And of course to my business mentors Elliott and Kathy who've been hugely helpful as I've been setting up and growing my business.  Elliott from the marketing and business standpoint and Kathy from the experienced horsewoman standpoint.   Thanks tons!

To Vic - the biggest of thanks for all your help in every way this year.  From our amazing sign, to our video day and TONS of photos to my stunning new office at the new farm.  You're incredible :)

And of course going right back to the beginning - to James from Overdrive Design for our awesome logo!

Some lessons learned this year:
- anything's worth trying once
and conversely
- don't reinvent the wheel!

- don't spend money you don't have
and conversely
- you need to have money to make money
and the follow up
- there is no money to be made in horses *sigh*

- find people with complimentary skills sets an listen to them when they make suggestions

- social media is your friend :)

- mud is all kinds of evil

- winter has no redeeming factors

- sadly no good deed goes unpunished
- the kindness of strangers is incredible

- I have amazing students who'll regularly go above and beyond.

- many hands make light work (HUGE thanks to all who came to the hay days!)

- knowing who to call is almost as important as knowing the answer

- never turn down offered help

- puppies add a whole new level of chaos to anything
- chaos is usually amusing when caused by a puppy

- boys and their toys can accomplish amazing things

- make time for friends, family, puppies and the occasional nap

and beyond all else

- it's not work if you love doing it!

There are no words to explain how happy I am with where we've ended up after this first year.  There's definitely something to be said for creating your dream job -- somehow the ridiculous hours are all worth it when it's a passion.   And I'm so grateful for the people (and horses!) who've been along for the ride :)   Looking forward to 2012!


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