Team Wimpy Update 2: By Jess Griffiths – I owe it to friends…

For a long time I didn’t pursue a career in horses, as I didn’t believe I was good enough. I went down the safe, sensible route of being a schoolteacher, which was still something I was really passionate about. I love working with children and love being able to help and nurture them to achieve their potential.

However, 2 years in, an OFSTED visit and change of school I was soon beginning realise that the job wasn’t really about nurturing children, but driving them for better data so I could keep my job! I then had what was probably the toughest 6 months of my life.

I was under so much pressure at work with every move being scrutinised and put down I really let it get on top of me. It made me so miserable; I wasn’t sleeping, and in the end made me really poorly. I had a cold, which I couldn’t shift, a cough so bad I ended up in A&E and my asthma was terrible. I felt like I lost more and more confidence every day, I went into work and in the end I was just going through the motions as I had no energy to fight or stand up for what I believed in.

The only time I felt like myself was around the horses, and helping friends with their horses. One of Dads close friends had lost his battle with cancer and I suddenly thought “life is far too short to carry on this miserable”.

I was working hard to pay for a hobby that I had no energy or time to do.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing family and friends. I knew I had to speak to my mentor, coach and straight talking best friend, Amy. At the time she was working at Carl Hester’s yard so was quite busy enough without me wittering on. However, she took the time and when I said I didn’t want to go back into teaching after the Summer break, but I wanted to concentrate on Blitz and build my coaching up…what did she think? Did she think I was good enough to take it more seriously? She said yes of course! Kick on and get it done! And I’ve never looked back!

I’m so much better in myself, which has made me realise actually how ill I had been. Amy and her Mum have been such a massive support to me, I’ll never be able to repay them. I’ve had time to concentrate on Blitz, and she has gone from strength to strength and is now looking confident at PSG. Helped massively by Amy and Tracey through all their coaching and mentoring I am finally starting to believe in myself.

Kick on and get it done!

I passed my UKCC level 2 and I’m hoping to go onto do my level 3. I am also back working part time in a school, thanks to another wonderful friend; Vicky, who is like my second Mum. I was adamant I would never work in school again! But she managed to convince me to go and help her at the special needs school she works at. So I have the best of both worlds! I get to coach lots of lovely people, ride some wonderful horses and do some work in a school that feels really worthwhile.

I can honestly say now I enjoy everything I do, whilst I still work hard and finding time to fit everything in is a constant challenge, I no longer dread getting up to go to work. I don’t sit in the car for 5 minutes because I’m scared of what’s going to be wrong today. I’ve finally got a spring back in my step. I also can’t say all this without mentioning my Mum and Dad who always support every decision I’ve made.

So when I ask myself; Is it all worth it?…the answer is YES! 100% every single time, because through the blood, sweat and tears I love my horse, I love my job now, and I’m excited for the future! Whatever you do with your horses, enjoy it! And remember…Have courage and be kind!

Until next time… thank you for reading!

To read more about Jess and the rest of Team Wimpy 2018 click HERE!

Vic Brant

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