Huge Interest In Horse Ballet

Since the Olympics we have all heard about the increase in interest in range of sports but it turns out one of the sports that has benefited most from the games is Dressage.

Horse ballet is becoming extremely popular amongst the younger generation and especially in Yorkshire. It turns out the coverage in the Games has inspired the public.

The governing body for the sport is keen to get more young people into the sport although they insist it is not all top hats and tiaras but a lot of hard but and great fun. The Games provided the public with a role model in Charlotte Dujadin who won.

There are costs that come with riding a horse everything from riding boots to horsebox insurance. However, the preconception of the sport before was that the individual needs to have lots of money behind them but Charlotte has proved otherwise, which is a great comfort to the public, especially in the current economy.

A riding school in North Yorkshire is planning on encouraging more riders into the sport. Snainton Riding Centre is near Scarborough and they have already had to change to fit in with the times over the last 45 years so more change and growth is not hard for them.

Charlotte Wilson is a partner at the centre and she has said, “We could not believe the large number of young riders attending out unaffiliated competitions this year and we have been impressed by the standard of riding and commitment that they have shown to be putting in to their performances, particularly as many of them have shown to be putting in to their performances, particularly as many of them are new to dressage or only have weekly lessons on one of our riding school ponies, so time to practise is often limited.”

For eight years now the school have been running affiliated and unaffiliated British Dressages competitions but this year was the first year they ran a Junior Championship due to the interest from younger generations.

Doing it Alone

During the economic climate one of the safest investments has been in property and many people have turned to this as a solution for generating extra income and protecting their money. A mistake that many make is going straight to a letting agent. Many choose an agent to prevent void periods right from the start. However, keeping costs down is essential for most at the moment, and even more so if you are trying to generate some more income. Independent letting can be great, so here are a few reasons why:

There are no extra costs when letting independently. As a landlord you don’t want to incur too many extra costs as you may have to pass the cost onto tenants driving up rental prices. Right now, high rental prices aren’t going to draw in tenants as most are struggling as it is.

Letting agents are great if you don’ have much time to manage the property yourself. If you do though, what’s stopping you from being a hands on landlord? By doing it on your own, you can choose your own fees, furnishings and landlord insurance policy without worrying about someone else’s opinion. To do it on your own, you do have to be confident in your decisions and does require some time put in.

By having a third party involved in your tenancy then it is often easier for tenants to try and get cheaper rates or build a case against you. However, if the tenant is dealing directly with you, the landlord, then agreements are often a lot fairer for both parties. This makes your service a lot more personal and honest.

When it comes to deciding whether to have a letting agent or not there is no right or wrong answer. You have to decide what is best for your situation but don’t rule out doing it alone just because it is your first go and letting out a property. There can be great benefits if you are confident about your decisions and you have some time to spare.

Winter Preparations

When September falls every year, we usually see this as a sign that summer is over and we have to start getting ready for winter. However, the weather at the moment seems to be playing catch up from the miserable summer we experienced this year. So when Mother Nature gets back in sink and the winter finally hits, we thought we would give you a few tips now to help you prepare your motorhome for the summer.

Obviously we would all love to be travelling around in our motorhomes all year long but unfortunately this isn’t the case in the UK. This means that the majority of motorhomes will go un-used till next spring. This means turning the engine over regularly is essential. If not then the engine will struggle in six months’ time. Turning over the engine means that the parts stay lubricated and hopefully preventing a build-up of problems within the engine over the winter months.

Although we aren’t all lucky enough to have a garage big enough to house a motorhome there are places where they can be stored over the winter. If you can find one that has garages available this is a good idea to protect the vehicle from the frost.

There have been some stories around of people that have left the windows and doors to their motorhome open while it is in storage. We assume they have done this o stop the damp musky smell however this does leave the vehicle vulnerable to mice. Once the mice are inside they will cause a lot of damage and this is unlikely to be covered by a motorhome insurance policy.

They key to avoiding a claim is to look after your motorhome even when you aren’t using it. Turn over the engine; protect it from frost and freeze-thaw and from unwanted visitors.

Choosing the Right Minibus

During this economic climate, money saving is essential within business especially for those who have a fleet of minibuses as it is already becoming increasingly more expensive with the cost of fuel rising and having to pay for minibus insurance too.

There are a few things to consider when buying minibuses for your fleet. One of these is whether to buy a diesel or a petrol vehicle.

Diesel has always been the cheaper choice of vehicle since they were made in the 1980’s. This was because they used to be more economical compared to petrol. Road tax on diesel vehicles was lower too. However this was over 30 years ago and today there is a huge variety of economical petrol engines and at the moment diesel is much more expensive than petrol.

The reason why diesel is more expensive is because it lasts longer than petrol and therefore in theory it is cheaper. As petrol engines are becoming more economical this does mean that this theory is no longer true and the price of diesel is actually more expensive. As well as this diesel models are usually £1000 – £2000 more expensive.

We all know as soon as you buy a minibus the value has instantly decreased so buying a vehicle that has a good residual value is also a great way of saving some money. As diesel vehicles have lower road tax rates and economic use of fuel, many people want them which means they are keeping their value at a reasonable level. This means the resale value of a diesel minibus is better than that of the same vehicle with a petrol engine.

Even though the diesel minibuses have a good residual value, they are less reliable that the petrol models. This means in the money you save in petrol and possible from reselling, this could be spent on repairs and maintenance. Between the two types of engines, minor repairs, in terms of pricing, aren’t hugely different. However serious damage to a diesel engine will cost a lot more.
Make sure when buying new mini buses that you don’t just choose the cheapest as a way of saving money, sometimes this can be costly.

Communal Areas – Added Bonus or Extra Headache?

When it comes to signing a new tenancy, it is the little extra’s that are appealing to new tenants often securing you at least a year’s worth of income. These extras could be having access to a swimming pool, a garden or possibly a gym in communal areas. These are great for enticing new tenants but can be a headache for landlords.

Communal areas often require a service charge. As a landlord though, you are of course, entitled to pass this charge onto your tenants. However, within the current market, many tenants are looking for low rental payments so having to pay for the little extras may mean they won’t sign the contract.

One of the disadvantages of communal areas is that they have to be shared and this inevitably is going to cause an argument somewhere down the line. If a dispute does occur, whether it is the fault of your tenants or someone else’s, it is best to let them sort it out themselves. Do be prepared though to have to step in if things get a little more than a heated discussion.

The communal areas often don’t have security which does make them a prime target for thieves. In this instance your landlord insurance may not cover you as these areas aren’t directly managed by the landlord. If you are unsure though, whilst taking out your policy make sure you ask and check.

These added extras are a great way of attracting new tenants especially as everyone wants a little extra for their money in today’s climate. Just as they can prove a great opportunity they can also cause a little difficulty. Make sure you know about service charges, be aware of any disputes and don’t be vulnerable to thieves.

Campervan Holidays in America

Some of the most obvious choices for taking a campervan holiday are countries within Europe. This is because by and large they are easy to access. However, just because you already own a campervan doesn’t mean you can’t travel a little further abroad and rent one. America is a great place for a campervan holiday as there is a huge amount to see and has some stunning scenery.

If however you don’t already own a motorhome and are planning on buying one, renting one first is a good idea, just to check you are going to enjoy it as much as you think you are. These holidays aren’t meant for everyone. The vehicles are very confined and bring able to do lots of things in one go because everything is close is handy. However spending the length of your holiday in a confined space with you family does mean arguments are inevitable. Bikes are a great addition to the campervan especially if you are going on holiday with children. This gives everyone a little more space and will hopefully defuse any arguments.

Whether it is your first campervan holiday or not, there is nothing better than the feeling of getting in the vehicle and driving just about anywhere you please. When travelling in America, an essential trip to do is The Grand Circle. This covers areas in five states and includes some of the greatest national parks. This means vast spaces, stunning scenery and a great place for the kids to get on the bike! The five states that are included are Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

Although when travelling with children it obviously hard to go on holiday outside of the school holidays, however, the best time to go to America is in April. This is to avoid intense heat that comes with American summer time. Also when planning your holiday, make sure you have checked whether campervan insurance is included in the hire.

When driving in America you do need to have a full British driving license and you will need to book the hire on a major credit card.