Finding my Voice

This is a subject that after literally consuming self development books almost daily for the last three years, I feel like I can finally open up about. I have always been a person that relies on validation from other people, I make content people either ask for or from research I know they want to watch. This has gotten me reasonably far with regards to my audience but my head was not a happy place.

Spending around three years as ‘an Influencer/mumfluencer’ whatever you want to call it, I slowly started to HATE social media, the pressure from brands wanting results, interfering with your style and your followers judging you because lets face it no one believes you are genuine when you are being paid £1,000 to talk about a product, it was utterly soul destroying.

About two years ago after falling down the well of ‘influencing’ I publicly announced that I would no longer be called an influencer and I was in fact just a person that shared content, with no pressure and no expectation from anyone, including myself. What I did commit to doing was working with brands as a videographer and a photographer to create them content for their own social media. This sometimes involved me but I didn’t HAVE to share anything on my personal accounts.

My social media journey has been colourful and my account has moved around all of the areas of my life from fitness, cottage life, baking, interiors to now, which is horses. I would sit clueless most evenings empty of ideas after a busy day of selling my creativity to other people and basically have nothing to say.

I started personal development coaching (therapy, counselling) not sure of the best terminology, just over a year ago and the journey of weekly sessions until this present day has seen me convert from someone that constantly needs validation from everyone else, to someone that internally knows their worth (most of the time, we all have shit days) and feels no pressure to perform like a dancing monkey daily on social media.

Once feeling mentally stronger it was time to turn my attentions to social media. Who am I, what do I want to share and why do I want to share it. As a videographer and filmmaker my passion lies in provoking emotion, when you watch my videos I want you to ‘feel’ something. I sit across the room from Arabella (my daughter) and even at a distance am totally overwhelmed by the loudness and aggressive video content that is so widely available. Fast talking, loud noises, go go go, I don’t want this. I want to tell stories in a peaceful way incorporating some talking, natural sounds and appropriate music, the kind that doesn’t panic you and make you feel like you should be up and doing star jumps at 6am.

From years of google searches ‘how to grow my channel’ ‘what do people want to see’ ‘ how to get noticed’ my new strategy goes against everything I’ve read. You must post click bait, fast paced content to capture peoples attention, Loud thumbnails, long wordy captions. Nope, not doing any of it. My statement to you all today is that I will share the following:

Instagram – Life, short captions, some stories when I fancy it, I won’t work with brands unless it’s as a photographer or videographer, if I share them it’s a product I love or I’m working with the brand. I also commit to responding to DM’s predominantly with voice notes as it’s a much better way of communication with people properly.

My Blog – A variety of blogs about all aspects of my life, as and when I feel inspired, no pressure for creativity. If I write four posts one week and one the net so be it. If I’ve learned anything from working as a creative it’s that you can’t force creativity.

Youtube – A variety of videos covering parts of my life, some informative some relaxing, some just because I want to document something, I won’t commit to a schedule, I will post as and when my life allows time.

I branded my account briefly as ‘The Equestrian Blogger’ because it was a way of starting to write and find my footing in a new area without any stigma attached to it or the need to share it on my social media. It so turns out that writing makes me incredibly happy so deciding to continue down this late night coffee fuelled avenue of writing was going to need to fit in to my current ‘life plan’.

So moving forwards my account is called ‘Georgina Hannay’, I am an Equestrian and Countryside filmmaker, photographer and blogger. And I will be talking about all the things that are part of my life. This will vary from a bit of fashion (when I spend more than 12 seconds not in riding clothes) the animals, the cottage, my work the horses, holidays and whatever else I fancy journalling on here, filming for YouTube and photographing for Instagram.

Hopefully this all makes sense. It has felt like a journey of discovery finding my purpose, but I finally feel like on a personal level where I have landed is right.

I am still very much on the social media treadmill but I am wondering not sprinting.

Thanks as always for reading

My first Youtube video with a commitment on the type of content I want to create, would love to know what you think

The Equestrian Lifestyle

Theres no denying if you’re not an equestrian you WILL NOT GET IT.

This felt like the right post to start my new blog with. At the grand old age of 36 (I swear I feel older because I have been broken by horses so many times) there is no denying that I have lost count of the amount of people that have stood entirely dumbstruck with some of the life choices ‘equestrians’ make. Maybe you’re here because you’re trying to understand your equestrian mad friend/child/girlfriend.

Maybe you are horse mad yourself and just need a reminder that you are not alone and they way you behave is TOTALLY normal for an equestrian.

Our Horses are like our Children

I have a daughter, a beautiful sassy nine year old to be precise. BUT my horses still fit in to the category of being my babies (entirely on a par with biological children). Judge away but if your a horse owner you will get it. Our horses are literally our everything and they will be spoken about and treated in the same way actual children or family members are. I can’t explain it, it just works that way. They keep us safe (most of the time) and we repay them with all our our money, energy, sanity and love.

Equestrian Broke Vs. Normal Broke

Huge vets bills, normal living expenses, competition entries and the general day to day running of a horse will leave you utterly broke, like literally putting £10 of fuel in your car at a time. However ‘Equestrian broke’ always finds a way to buy the limited edition L’Mieux saddle pad when it suddenly appears in your Instagram feed. Normal broke you’d be living on beans, scraping together pennies to cover the utility bills, but when it comes to a matchy matchy selection on any kind of offer there is just no way you won’t find a way. EDF can wait a little longer for their electricity payment when your horse NEEDS that cornflower blue matchy set for their next Instagram selfie.

Competitions come before any social gatherings

If you’ve just starting dating a horsey girl or guy LISTEN TO THIS ONE. Your plans will always be out of the window if a last minute competition comes up on My Riding Life. Being social and sitting round the dinner table for prolonged periods of time is not an option for an Equestrian. Keep social interaction short and sweet, there is always something we would rather be doing, even if we pretend there’s not. And even cleaning your horses sheath (penis) is a preferable option over forced family time. Always be prepared to be stood up if god forbid something is wrong with the horse. I have literally missed important family gatherings to sit on poo watch after a bout of colic.

Be Prepared we Smell

And it’s not of roses. Horses sh*t (a lot) and wee (a lot) and haylage (this is the stuff we put in nets for endless hours) this really stinks. Once we’re in the warm the concoction of faded shit/piss and haylage smells a bit like vomit. We don’t smell it, much like a smoker is utterly immune to the stench they project. Don’t make a fuss, it’s our life, remember we will always put the horses first so get some Vicks round your nostrils and suck it up, lay safe in the knowledge that we will leave you before we leave the horse. We also don’t understand the concept of separating clothes. I have been known to muck out in high heels prior to a client meeting or a night out, with literally no sh*ts given.

We don’t do lie ins

Most people work the 9-5 weekly grind then enjoy lazing around in bed until late on the weekend. NOPE unless we are really sick or physically can’t stand (which would take broken legs) we will be at the yard with the horses at the crack of dawn and not staying in bed for cuddles and spooning. If you try and stop us we will become irrational and spend even longer at the yard. I like to blame it on needing the fresh air when I wake up, but it’s actually just a really good excuse for being entirely antisocial and spending more time with my horses.

Yard Time Vs. Real Time

Honestly it’s impressive, how it’s not in the Guinness Book of World Records I’ll never know. ‘I’ll be a couple of hours’ or ‘I’m just whizzing down to pop the horses to bed’ is not something you want to take too literally. we will be HOURS, once your at the yard you are in an alternate universe where clocks don’t exist, time doesn’t matter and hours pass just gazing at your horse over the stable door, scrolling through equestrian Instagram accounts or just taking 345 selfies with your horse to get the perfect one.

We will put our Horses health before our own

I have literally been thrown forcefully off a horse, broken my shoulder (in a number of places) been told by a medical professional to rest, ignored all advice and gone straight home to muck out. As an equestrian the equine physio, vet, Chiro, dentist comes as a priority over our own welfare. As stated above it takes an awful lot to floor an equestrian, normally some kind of sedative or smashed up limbs.

My horses manes and tails are brushed daily and plaited, I barely remember the last time I washed my hair or changed my pants. This will never change so just get used to it.

Conclusion

If you are an equestrian and you can relate to all of the above, CONGRATULATIONS, you are normal and Hey, we should be friends.

If you are dating, parent to or friends with an Equestrian, I suggest you reread al the above and get used to the fact you will ALWAYS be second best.

Thanks so much for reading my first blog. I would love to know what you thought and stay tuned for more.

The Equestrian Lifestyle – The Audio