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A Thankyou Letter From my Student/Helper/Employee

Child hugging horse

Thankyou Deb and Bonogin Valley Horse Retreat

By Amelia Callaghan

There are no words to describe how grateful I am for the last few years, not only as a customer but as an employee. 

Being part of your work family has been the most amazing experience for me. I always looked forward to the weekend because it meant I got to come to one of my favourite places. The stables have become my second home, and the people (and animals) in it, my second family.

You always put in the time to talk to me about anything and you are always willing to hear my ideas about things (whether they were good or bad).  You trusted me to take care of your animals and your property, you trusted me to bring Monty to and from Lisa’s on Saturdays, you put your trust in me to ride unsupervised occasionally during lessons if an instructor wasn’t able to come (although I always enjoyed when you would come and teach for the odd lesson) and you let me help all day Saturday in exchange for lessons.

You taught me skills that I will go on to use later in life, not only with animals, but with other people, you taught me to be confident in myself and how to manage other staff (although I haven’t perfected that one yet). You bring ice blocks and cookies down for us (which we appreciate more than we show), you ask us how we are and how school is going, you let me go from being a helper to being a stablehand and being in charge of the younger helpers (which to me meant the world).  You taught me how to work as part of a team (which I was never very good at) and how to communicate effectively with my team.  You taught me to solve my own problems to the best of my ability before coming to you. I have heard people complain about their boss, but I am proud to say I am an outcast, because I had you as my boss. Your guidance has been wonderful. You never got mad at me for my mistakes, instead you turned them in to lessons to teach me how to do it properly and avoid doing it again (like when I didn’t get Tank’s needle in correctly the first time, oops). You praised me when I did things well (like cantering Tank bareback), you took me to Cabarita (twice!!) to ride on the beach, you let me lease Lukah for a couple months before I started university, you let me be the crash test dummy with the new horses (which I LOVED) and you took me on trail rides even when I didn’t handle Lukah’s excitement very well.

You make me feel very special when you ask me to help out (like preparing for open day, going to the Spring Fair) and for my opinion about things.  Every time you let me do something, my parents got a nice big story when I got home that always started with  “Guess what Deb let me do today…” I hope someday I can be as great a boss as you. You motivate me to try my best with everything, even when I don’t succeed. I am so proud to call you my boss. Not only were you my boss, but you were also my teacher, and I have loved every minute of being your student.

There is so much more I want to say, but this is already getting too long, and nothing I can say will ever express the amount of gratitude I owe you. Thank you for everything.

From Amelia


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