Shaun Mandy’s dressage blog: life has been all change

  • Dear gorgeous readers,

    I can’t believe I have left you for six months! Big apologies and I will ensure that this does not happen again!

    A lot has happened and changed. For most of the time, I have not been in the right headspace to write and I unfortunately fell into the trap of focusing on the ‘what ifs’ in life and not on the present moment.

    This does then tend to consume your mind in an unhealthy way and I have struggled to change my focus, but now feel that I am shifting in the right direction. A big help for me was reading Mallika Chopra’s book, Living with Intent, which I found on a recent trip to Africa.

    The view from our lodge in Swaziland

    So, since January, I have moved in with Mark, had a lovely little mini break in Rome, competed in my first PSG (prix st george) with Inky, closed down my yard, done a small clinic in Durban followed by a few days in Africa, become involved with Musto and I’ve just returned from Somerford Park premier league which was last weekend.

    Life sometimes has a way of showing you a path to follow. That does not mean you can just sit back and it happens, but your eyes are opened to an idea and you run with it.

    Teaching in Durban

    One afternoon, in early February, I met my best friend, Elodie, at Chievely services for a coffee. She was on her way home to Sussex and I had a client cancellation so it was the perfect opportunity for a quick catch up. During our chat, I was telling Els how I was struggling with the yard both on a financial and job satisfaction level. She reminded me as to why I was doing this and that perhaps I should focus more on my training as a rider. What about doing something similar to what you did in Denmark and being based with a professional?

    Straight away I knew this is what I needed to do and by mid-March I had closed down my yard and moved mine and Lorain Nixon’s Euphoria E (Inky) to Ulrik Molgaard and Hentrietta Anderson’s yard in Nether Westcote where I now train twice a week with Ulrik. I also have my five year old Oldenburg there, who is for sale. Poppy went on loan to Siobhan Heneghan , where she is very much loved and doing well. This move did bring different challenges, one of them being a lot more driving!

    My twin Godchildren growing up so fast!

    I now live in the beautifully quaint English village of Sutton Courtenay, which I love! This is, however, nearly an hour away from where I travel every day to Inky and then most of my clients are another drive in the opposite direction. I am very grateful though to how my teaching has picked up and do love my work.I now strive to be better with time management and diary planning.

    Inky and I did our first PSG together in February. Hindsight is a marvellous thing and as I train every week with Ulrik, I can see more clearly how it would have been better to get more together at home before going out at that level. I was so keen to get one under our belt. Like with everything in life, try and take away any positives and what you can learn from and build on.

    We did get our personal best at advanced medium level a few weeks ago with a 71.47% and a win at Hartpury and last week competed at Somerford Park premier league which was a great experience.

    Inky at Somerford Park

    The end of April saw Mark and I heading out to Durban, South Africa, where I teach at Shongweni Club. On this trip, for various reasons, bookings were down and so it turned into a bit more of a holiday which was lovely! It was great to spend time with my dear friend Lorina and my twin godchildren. We also did a little road trip up to Swaziland. I hadn’t been there before, but previously Mark had worked out there and so was special to see where he had been and for him to revisit some places and people that he had not seen for just over 20 years.

    It was on our last day in Swaziland, just before our nine hour drive back to Durban, that I found the book, Living with Intent. I now believe that was my purpose for going to Swaziland. I very nearly didn’t go and it was only due to reduced numbers for my teaching that I joined Mark on that particular trip. I was meant to have that book in my life!

    Mark and I looking out in Kloof

    I have recently become a ‘friend’ of Musto and love my new gilet and shirt they have gifted me. They have such a fabulous product range and I hope that our relationship will blossom in the future.

    Continued below…

    My dog Pringle is well, if not constantly on a diet! She loves Ulrik and Hen’s yard and of course bosses it!

    I must now go to bed as have a busy week ahead so good night, my lovelies.

    Until soon xx
    Body mind mastery quote: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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