The vi­tal role mi­cronu­tri­ents and calo­ries play in your horse’s diet

How I make it work: jug­gling two jobs with own­ing a horse, plus yoga in the park to un­wind

Your Horse (UK) - - Contents -

Natalie Se­jnow­icz, 25, works part-time in equine in­sur­ance sales and ser­vice for Pet­plan Equine. She’s also the yard man­ager at Ruis­lip Park Sta­bles. Natalie says there’s no such thing as a nine-to-five job as she’s on the yard even on her one day off a week.

My work­ing day…

I work part-time for Pet­plan Equine as a sales and ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive. The of­fice is based in Brent­ford, West London, and I also run a yard called Ruis­lip Park Sta­bles in Pinner, near Har­row. On a Pet­plan Equine day (Mon­days and Wednesdays), our call cen­tre is open from 8am to 8pm and I work a shift be­tween th­ese hours. I get up to feed my horse, Lit­tle Alf, at 5am and usu­ally skip break­fast to save time. The of­fice is a 20-minute drive away from my home in Green­ford and a quick com­mute makes ev­ery­thing that lit­tle bit eas­ier. When I fin­ish, I head home and do a lit­tle yoga in the bed­room or in the lo­cal park. I only have time to do yoga on Pet­plan days and it helps me un­wind and re­lax.

What my job in­volves…

I started vol­un­teer­ing at the yard when I was 14 and joined per­ma­nently as yard man­ager when I fin­ished my A lev­els. Just after that, a po­si­tion at Pet­plan Equine was ad­ver­tised and, as they mostly re­cruit horsey peo­ple, I had the right cre­den­tials. I’m a first point of con­tact for peo­ple in­ter­ested in in­sur­ing their horses. We don’t cold call, so ev­ery­one I speak to is look­ing for in­sur­ance and I pro­vide them with any in­for­ma­tion they need. It means I’m pick­ing up the phone a lot. You need to have a good horsey knowl­edge to un­der­stand the ter­mi­nol­ogy in­volved when peo­ple want to in­sure their horses. I nor­mally man­age to squeeze in an hour’s lunch break and eat some­thing pre­pared at home that morn­ing.

When I’m at the yard…

The trekking cen­tre has 21 horses and ponies. It backs on to wood­land where we take peo­ple hack­ing. I nor­mally help out with lead-rein rides and pony par­ties, but it’s very much an ‘ev­ery­one chips in’ sort of place. It’s run by my­self, my part­ner Shane and his mum. We also have sev­eral vol­un­teers aged be­tween 10 and 16 who help us at week­ends. I typ­i­cally take out one or two hacks a day plus five or six chil­dren on lead-rein rides. On yard days, I get up at 8am and ar­rive at the yard by 9am. I fit in a lunch break around client book­ings. It can be hard to find time dur­ing busy pe­ri­ods, as things get manic, but I try to make it a pri­or­ity as it’s im­por­tant to eat prop­erly so that you stay en­er­gised, es­pe­cially when work­ing with horses. I usu­ally fin­ish yard work at around 5pm or 6pm. Fri­days are my day off, although I usu­ally spend them at the yard, too.

Fit­ting in my horse…

I’ve had my ex-racer, Lit­tle Alf, for six years. He’s 16 and we do some low-level event­ing on week­ends when I’m not needed to cover

“I jog to the park and do yoga on the grass. It helps me re­lax and un­wind”

client book­ings. I also en­joy hack­ing. It’s harder to find time to ride in win­ter when the days are shorter (who doesn’t find that!), as we don’t have an all-weather arena so it’s ei­ther muddy wood­land hack­ing or road­work. I’m lucky my horse is an ath­letic type and he holds fit­ness well. I don’t have time to ride on Pet­plan days; it’s only on yard days that I try to squeeze in a ride dur­ing my lunch break.

Man­ag­ing my stress lev­els…

I have a lot go­ing on, so find­ing a mo­ment of spare time is rare. Get­ting up early is key to fit­ting ev­ery­thing in. I wouldn’t man­age it if I didn’t start at 5am. I go to bed quite early, around 9pm, so I don’t feel like I miss out on sleep too much. After a day at Pet­plan Equine, I’ll of­ten put a mat down in the bed­room and find a yoga video on YouTube — prefer­ably one that’s good for rid­ers. Yoga is great at help­ing me chill out after a long day at work. Other times I jog to my lo­cal park and do some yoga on the grass. Shane laughs at me do­ing yoga in the bed­room, so the park is the best place for it.

My sup­port sys­tem…

I met Shane when I started work­ing at the yard and we’ve been to­gether for eight years now. He doesn’t ride, but he’s great with horses and hands-on with ev­ery as­pect of run­ning the yard. I also have an eight-yearold Boxer dog called Lola. She lives at the yard in the sum­mer and then stays at my house when the weather is chill­ier.

Be­ing or­gan­ised…

I use the cal­en­dar on my phone to record my work com­mit­ments and horsey plans. So, for ex­am­ple, if I’ve got a show com­ing up or there’s a pony party booked in, my phone buzzes and re­minds me. I also use it for plan­ning so­cial com­mit­ments, so that I don’t for­get. I have a few non-horsey friends who are great to hang out with be­cause it’s my time to switch off from horses. That said, though, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

NEXT MONTH The eques­trian fit­ness trainer jug­gling clients and three ponies

At Pet­plan Equine we un­der­stand most horse own­ers have to bal­ance work­ing and fam­ily life with car­ing for their horse. With a team of eques­trian en­thu­si­asts, we en­sure we of­fer cus­tomers straight­for­ward cover that you can rely on, which gives you com­plete peace of mind.* Visit pet­

Natalie splits her time be­tween the Pet­plan Equine of­fice and her yard man­ager du­ties With her ex-racer Lit­tle Alf. Natalie rides him in her lunch breaks

Natalie jug­gles event­ing at the week­ends with lead­ing out pony par­ties yoga (rid­ing Some evening helps Natalie spe­cific, of course) in t he sad­dle with her bal­ance

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