I was laid off from my job in late September. This is the first time I've been unemployed since I was in college! It was a bizarre feeling at first, not having to get up and go to work every day. I've worked in book publishing my whole career, and there aren't many opportunities in that field in the Willamette Valley, so I was immediately faced with the decision of whether to 1) look for work that's sort of in my field here, 2) move, or 3) become self-employed.
Coincidentally, I had already been thinking about quitting my job and starting a publishing solutions consulting business. The whole reason I was considering this was because of Obamacare kicking in. I'm not comfortable living without insurance, and pre-Obamacare I didn't think self-employment was feasible. Now there's affordable health insurance available to the self-employed. I'm meeting with a designer on Wednesday to design my logo and website. The company name is Bad Beagle Publishing Solutions :)
AND . . . (drumroll) I decided to start teaching beginning dressage! I want to provide beginners with a trained school pony on which they can learn to sit the trot and get the feel of putting the horse on the bit. I'm also happy to teach folks on their own mounts, but I think it's so helpful for beginners to have the option of getting the right feel on a regular basis. I've seen too many green on green situations that lead to endless frustration.
On Friday I found my school pony! He's an 8-year-old palomino mustang gelding. He was a trail horse when he was first broke, and he's been sitting unridden for two years since his owner had a baby. I'll be putting in 60-90 days of training before I decide if he's suitable to teach on. If not, I'll find him a great home. But I have a good feeling about him. He's puppy-dog friendly, and his owner said nothing ever rattled him on the trail. Here are pix and video. He hadn't been exercised since July, so there is some bronco-like activity in the lungeing, but I'm sure he'll settle with regular work. Isn't he adorable?
I've always wanted to get into teaching someday. Wolfgang was a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime trainer, and I'd like to pass on what I learned from him. I hope I get it right!