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Thinking Outside The Box

The lockdown has been a tricky time for lots of us. I really feel for the many small business owners and self-employed who are facing hardship now. You throw your heart and soul - not to mention every waking hour, every thought, probably every penny - into a business you dream of and have a passion for - and who can predict something like this?

Below is a link to a brilliant post compiled by Jenni Bush from so many different equestrian businesses (including Demi Dressage - but it is really interesting, and hit home for me in many cases, to read responses from others in the same boat ❤️ )

The one thing I do hope will be a plus coming out of this pandemic is the public's awareness and support of small and local businesses! ❤️

Even from a non-business perspective, it's worth a read. So many positive ideas - Jenni has cleverly pulled a different thought from each business as a kind of 'strapline', and they read as a kind of Positive Thinking 101...!

I've copied and pasted my excerpt here:


Chesca Burrows of Demi Dressage, runs online competitions for young riders.

It’s been interesting – there’s been a rise in awareness and popularity of online competing and training, but equally, it’s had a negative response from the major sporting governing bodies led by the FEI.

Also, the lockdown restrictions have meant many people are unable to ride – some through choice, but unfortunately in the case of lots of my customers, where children have been banned from coming to their yards!

So, on the whole, I have sadly had less of my usual business.

I’ve also had my 6yo daughter at home all the time and that has made the work-life balance extremely difficult!

I’ve put together a variety of non-ridden competitions and activities, and also some free resources and mini activities/ideas for those with bored children stuck at home!

I’ve sadly cancelled the planned summer league and the new Riding School classes that were due to launch this month, but monthly events are still running as standalone to cater for those still looking to have something positive to aim for in their riding.

I think it’s tough for a lot of people. It’s important to me that I stay true to what I do – I’m genuinely passionate about encouraging novice children to ride and enjoy dressage, so whilst it’s important to explore other income streams to stay afloat I don’t want to divert away from that by (for example – as it’s something I’m often asked to do!) offering adult classes.

However, I’d encourage people to think ‘outside the box’ in a way that still works with their company ethos – I’ve introduced Groundwork Tests for example. I’m a huge fan of groundwork and so this is something I’ve have liked to have added in at some point anyway, but the lockdown has given me the nudge to actually make it happen!


I am genuinely delighted that the coronavirus situation has pushed me into actually making the Groundwork Tests happen... I've started with a fairly simple one for April, and I've honestly been delighted with how well received it's been! At the time of writing, there's more entries across the three sections there, than all our ridden dressage classes combined!

As the lockdown has been extended, MiniD will be working with me to create a different test for May. It's meant ordering yet more rosettes - with all the extra activities and events on offer I've been back to my rosette supplier three times now for add-ons. That's another positive - keeping another small business in work: I can imagine most rosette suppliers are pretty quiet at the moment with so many real shows cancelled or postponed. Rosettes make up one of my biggest costs - but oh I do love to receive them all, so bright and colourful! Our signature #rainbowrosettes are very fitting at the moment too, don't you think?

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