With the start of 2016, I can’t help but think back to a year ago. 2015 was an amazing year for me personally as well as for EquiKneads. I left my part time job at Greenhawk early in January after working there for almost nine years. It was a great job in many ways and I have met some amazing people while working there. Some became clients, while others have become some of my closest friends. Towards the end of my time there, however, it was more of a security blanket than I’d like to admit. As so many people who are self employed know, and this seems even tougher in the equine industry than some, working for yourself is wonderful, but terrifying at the same time. The service I provide is, unfortunately, a luxury for many horse owners, so when funds get tight it is often one of the first cutbacks. It is also a somewhat seasonal career. Even though each year more people see the benefits of maintenance massages for their horses year round, show season is still undoubtedly the busiest time of year. Leaving a steady paycheck every two weeks at the start of the winter was more than a little scary. I had been looking into getting a cold laser at this time and decided to make the leap and get it, because apparently doing one scary thing at a time was just not exciting enough. I have to take a moment to say thank you to all my clients who were very supportive and excited about the new venture. I am so lucky to have this amazing career and be able to work with your fantastic horses and knowing that you trust my decisions meant a lot. Since aquiring the laser, I have been thrilled with the results I have seen when combining it with massage. Obviously many clients, existing and new, saw the benefits as well as this has been the busiest year by far for EquiKneads. I spent many hours researching laser options and finally went with the Centurion Laser Shower. It is a great product, I was happy to support a Canadian company and the customer service was fantastic. Along the way this year, there were also a couple of great work trips which were great fun. I really enjoyed seeing some horse show clients in their home barns Finally, I have also pursued teaching more Intro to Equine Massage Clinics. We had a great group of participants and horses at BHA in October and it was so well received a second clinic is booked there in early 2016 along with one other barn! Massaging horses directly will always be my biggest passion, but it is also quite the experience to share my knowledge with owners who would like to learn some basics of relaxational massage for themselves. As I look to 2016, the plan is to travel to more shows with my clients and expand my toolbox to include something besides the laser (stay tuned for more info on that in the spring) as well as do some continuting education for modalities that don’t involve any tools.
Personally, I have had a great year with my horse. The sensitive, opinionated Thoroughbred mare has finally decided to get on board with this dressage thing. It has been a very fun year (with only minor frustrations along the way) and I am really enjoying being able to really get to work with her. Realizing more every day that, similarly to people, the more horses learn the easier learning becomes. We couldn’t have made this much progress without our amazing team – my coach, Donna’s vet, farrier and saddle fitter and the awesome barn owners we have been lucky to board with along the way. Looking forward to making it out to some shows this year!
I have also had a great time working on my fitness. That’s a journey I have been on for about three years, but I stepped it up a notch this year. I had noticed an improvement in my riding and energy levels previous to this, but since increasing the intensity and frequency of my workouts in September I’ve been feeling fantastic and riding better too. Keeping fit is important for everyone, but even more so for those of us who have physical jobs. Still loving my kettlebell workouts (and the fact that I can do them at home) and feeling challenged every day I use them. Pushing my body past what I thought was possible has really been an eye opening experience and has made me more determined and tougher mentally which is incredibly motivating in other aspects of my life as well. If I am capable of doing this hard thing I didn’t think was possible, I must be capable of doing more, right?
There have certainly been some bumps along the way this year, but I’m feeling extremely lucky that my family (the two and four legged kind) are all healthy and doing well and so proud of Lee and the amazing year his (still relatively new) venture has had. Thanks for always motivating me to do more!
I am pumped for what this year will bring!