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Hannah Mytilineou: Managing my chaotic horsey and non-horsey life – husband, daughters, horses, travelling, Smokey the dog and Bianca!

Thursday, 05 April 2018
Managing a chaotic horsey and non-horsey life

Photos (c) private / (c) Photos (c) private / (c)

So combining the above things is actually harder than it sounds when you have to juggle them all and your brain is already a fuzzy, confused place. A place where multitasking, as much as it would like to, doesn’t exist, but organised chaos does.... Especially when the logistics involve so many animals, countries and a lot of suitcases.

Husband: Greece
Daughter, Amalia: London
Daughter, Ioli & horses: Belgium 
Bianca: All over the world 
Me: All of the above 
Smokey the dog: Usually with me

Competing at shows where your daughter is also competing and having to inform her very busy dad (someone’s got to work) when she is going in the ring, whilst he is at the office trying to watch her on livestream between very important meetings, takes an amount of organisation and has become a game of tactics & a strategic countdown. In the past I have told him that she’ll be in the ring in 6 riders, which personally I thought was pretty fair warning, only to find out that in actual fact, it really wasn’t. He usually misses her if not reminded again. So I make use of modern technology.... I start WhatsApping....she’s in 6, she’s in 4, she’s in 2, SHE’S IN....ARE YOU WATCHING? Although occasionally I realise I’ve told him the wrong ring when he asks me if she’s on a grey. Oops! Nope! She’s on a bay. Uh oh, I’m in trouble!

A lot of my “organising and time management” often happens from the back of a horse, in between jumps in the collecting ring while I’m getting ready for my own class or when I’m walking the course. I guess this is the reason why “turtle neck and friends” (see previous blog) come to visit me on a pretty frequent basis.... Good to know I’ve got loyal friends though. Why don’t I ask my groom to do these things for me? Control freak maybe?!

During all this, I am also quite likely to be looking for Smokey, who never goes far, but is always out of sight and only responds to a “very” loud whistle. The same kind of whistle that trainers & teammates use to speed someone up on course.... So I have learned to time my whistles perfectly, having received a number of angry glares in the past.

Quite often while I am in the middle of all this, I get a phone call from my non-horsey daughter, who might want advice or just a chat.... About anything other than horses, because quite rightly, she is tired of hearing “Ioli’s in the ring or I’m in the warm up, I’ll call you back!” So instead of saying that, I try to respond or at least listen whilst cantering around, trying not to crash into a fellow rider and unsuccessfully stifle my heavy breathing (not as fit as I once was), for fear of hearing “Bloody horses, they get all the attention!” from the other end of the phone.

Then we have Bianca, who according to both my daughters, is actually my favourite daughter. Well, they might have a point! She doesn’t answer back, she earns the most money and she’s definitely the cheapest one to keep. They do have something in common though, they are all beautiful (sorry, couldn’t resist a proud mummy moment). Whenever I have a free weekend, I like to take time out and become a Bianca groupie.... She does go to all the glamorous shows after all! To be honest, Bianca (and of course her amazing rider, Steve) have made us more famous than our riding skills, well at least by face, as very few people can actually pronounce our surname. To be fair, it took my Mum 10 years to say it correctly.

So right now whilst writing this, I am sitting on a plane on my way from Athens to France for a family skiing trip, having returned yesterday from Belgium, going on Monday to Paris, where Ioli is competing in the 2* and Bianca in the World Cup final, flying from Paris to Spain with Amalia to pick up a puppy (a Frenchie of course), driving them back from Spain to Belgium, then driving them to London when puppy papers are ready, before returning to either Greece or Belgium.

Sounds glamorous doesn’t it? Well FYI it’s exhausting...but the truth is, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Although a private jet and a secretary wouldn’t go amiss, but Hey Ho!


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