Equine Transition #2 - Page 25

april 2019 | career stories

Equine Transition / 21

Of course, my horses needed to come with me and I stabled them nearby at Pensionstal de Bullekamp. This is where my career really started. Added to that, I fell in love with the owner of the livery yard. How romantic is that?! I must admit, my parents were not amused, as in their eyes I didn’t do anything with my three University degrees! However, I kept telling them (and myself) that in running my two businesses, soon to be three, I was constantly practising my marketing skills to attract and keep new clients. Ten years on, my parents seem satisfied, my romance continues and we make a great team!

We have 30 happy and healthy horses in our yard. They get turned out every day, in summer some stay out overnight dependent on the owner’s choice. Of course, we cannot copy nature, yet we make sure the horses are in fixed groups.

Landwise, it’s never enough in the Netherlands. With 15 acres we run short on grass during the summer. Which is one reason why we feed excellent quality hay, which we have analysed each year. We know what we’re feeding and can adapt the rest of the feed (pellets etc) to suit each individual. We’re very lucky that our yard is closely connected to great bridleways and hacking routes. The landscape here is stunning, with lakes, forests and most importantly - sandy soil. Most of the Netherlands has clay ground, whereas, we manage to keep the ground relatively dry during winter.

My job involves everything, except riding customers’ horses. Mucking out stables keeps me fit, I truly love fixing fences (don’t ask why!), my partner is never as happy as on her tractor, which I, in turn, love to repair when it breaks. We are kept going by our love for horses and the love we receive from them in return. Happy horses, are always willing to co-operate and say “hi” every time they see you...it makes my heart skip a beat. I love being outside all day and working for myself. Having no manager or boss telling me what to do next, when and how to do it - feels like freedom to me!