The News in BALANCE. November 2020
Updates to the BALANCE Website
I thought I should get my act together and write a new Blog to coincide with the updated site going live on the afternoon of Wednesday 17th November.
Some of the things that have been done to the site are not going to be so obvious to you but have improved the mechanics of the way it functions in the background.
Some of the changes you will see are:
BALANCE office still ticking along
Meantime, between Teressa, Keren and myself, we are keeping things ticking along during the current lockdown and like everyone else…… hoping that the future looks brighter for all of us.
The BALANCE TEAM doing what they can.
Each country is different in the amount of restriction it is going through. Some of our Saddling TEAM are completely stopped from going out to help horses and horse owners directly. Others are still able and willing to travel. Some of them have become rather inventive in the ways that they are offering distant support to their existing clients and to people who are just discovering the BALANCE approach and wanting to know more.
I think that using FaceTime, Skype and Zoom to assess the way a saddle is working is going to become an ongoing and useful way for horse owners to have access to some professional help.
The tricky thing is working out how the TEAM can generate some income from these methods, because they are still using the time, knowledge and experience they would be using during a hands-on consultation. They have to earn a living and keep a roof over their heads, just like everyone else.
I know that some of the TEAM receive phone calls, asking for information and/or support and can end up talking for well over an hour to the caller, because they all feel very passionate about helping people, and helping horses. I don’t know what the answer is to that conundrum. Maybe some of you have ideas and opinions that you are happy to share in the comments.
Covid creating major delays
With the activities of the BALANCE TEAM of registered Test Ride Facilitators and Consultants being so restricted, the amount of time that the admin. side of BALANCE works has been reduced too.
The Covid lockdowns and disruption have created a lot of delays in getting saddle and pad stock from the manufacturers. They all rely on suppliers of materials and these have often been disrupted too, from staff being sick, self-isolating, shielding, furloughed etc.
We have tried to keep our order process open over the past few months, just to allow people to get their orders into the pipeline. We have always been up-front about the fact that normal lead times are a thing of the past, when orders are placed, because we have no control over what any of the manufacturers are having to cope with.
They are all doing their best to keep their staff safe, but keep some work flowing through. However, it is clearly frustrating to know that our clients and customers are waiting so much longer than normal to receive the products that they have ordered. Poor Teressa has to be the bearer of bad news most of the time, and I know she hates the feeling of letting people down, even though it is not her fault.
A temporary closure of our online shop
What we have decided to do though for the first time, is to close the shop for the whole of December. We hope that this will give our manufacturers and suppliers time to catch up a bit and get stock to us.
The other reason for the closure, it to avoid very confusing and messy transition between dealing with orders that have been created and confirmed to customers in Europe during 2020, but won’t get shipped until 2021, when all the rules about exporting will have changed!
2021 really is going to be very different!
If any of you think you want to get an order in for saddles, pads or anything else before the end of November, so you are in the system, please go ahead.
Heads-Up for prices to increase in early 2021
The manufacturers also tend to put their prices up at the start of each year, so that is something to keep in mind too, if you are dithering about whether to order something now, or to wait till next year.
OK, I will sign off for now.
Stay healthy and enjoy your horses as much as you can in these strange times.