A Work/Life Balance for an Entrepreneurial Eventer!

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Starting your own business is a terrifying thought. You’re heading out into the unknown and taking the plunge into a ruthless, competitive world of start-ups who are desperately trying to be the next big thing.

Every time you think you have everything organised and ready to go, something else comes along that you had forgotten about. Everything takes twice as long as you planned and more often than not, everything costs twice as much. Things will, and do go wrong time and time again.

However, the blood, sweat and tears will be worth it when you reach that “it’s all been worth it” moment. For me it was when I received my final sealed samples through the post; our Performance Skin arrived and I had a real life Apt Cavalier garment in my hand! That was the moment when it was clear all the hard work had been worth it.

There are many, many lessons I have learned throughout this process, but two in particular stand out;

Number one- Just do it!

You can spend hours, days, months, years even planning something but nothing achieves more than actually taking action. Now, I love a good list and I’m all about planning but seriously, just get on with it- no one ever won awards for planning (I don’t think), so get out there, chase your dreams and make it happen for yourself!

Number two- find something to keep you sane.

By this I mean remember to have some “me time”. When I talked about starting a time-consuming business people said that I would have to say goodbye to Eventing because I just wouldn’t have the time. I thought otherwise.

A wise Manager from a previous job once gave me the following advice: “Most people spend their entire lives searching for something they truly love, and it is rare to find it at such a young age so make sure you always hold onto it”. These words have always stuck with me.

I was lucky enough to find horses and riding at a very young age, obsessed with ponies since day one much to my parent’s horror. Now, I’m not an amazing rider and I know I will never ride at 4*, by my goodness I love it!

I had a brief break from horses while in my final year at University and I wasn’t looking for a horse when I happened to stumble across my “horse of a lifetime” on Facebook one night. There stood Woody, scruffy, hairy, fat and looking a bit grumpy actually, but I knew he was meant for me. Don’t ask me how I knew, but I just did.

To cut a long story short, woody came to me as a green 6-year-old and at the time I was a slightly rusty 22-year-old, but we have worked our butts off to get from poles flying in the BE80 to completing our first BENovice this year. He’s full of personality and a pain in the butt at times but he is a complete mummy’s boy and means the absolute world to me.

Now, I am aware I have gone slightly off topic, but I do have a point- I promise! My point is that no matter how busy I get and how stressed I am, I know that my baby is standing in his field, just waiting for me to come and play with him.  He is my escape, my peace, my exercise, my drive and my “me time”, and I am so grateful that I have that.

I will continue to Event as that is what he and I were made for – we both love it so much! Plus, in my line of work I know that it is important that I am out riding and competing in the equestrian world, so that I can stay up to date with the rules and regulations, the trends, who’s doing well and what I as a designer need to do to make the sport better, safer and more enjoyable.  

My business wouldn’t exist without Woody, so I owe it to him and to myself to keep getting out there and doing what makes us both so happy.

See you on the Cross-country course!


Sarah x


Photo by Stevie Purves Photography

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Size Guide | Apt Cavalier