That City Girl.

May 01, 2023
Martina Miradoli specialist Border Collie puppy trainer

The story starts with a city girl that grows up in Milan, living at the 7th floor of a building near the city center. 

That girl is lucky enough to have a dad that is fond of the the British Island and that takes her on holiday to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and a family that loves nature and animals.

The city girl has the chance to experience hills and sheep since a young age and I think that those experiences have shaped her future.

Yes that city girl is me, strange how now I call myself country girl and soon to be farmer!

Before even falling in love with dogs it was cats and then it was horses. My parents have supported my passion for animals and I started horse riding at 9 years old, a passion that allowed me to have working experiences in England and Scotland before the age of 20, spending the summer helping out in exchange for food and board and learning English during the summer holidays. 

When my school mates where enjoying the sea side or exotic holidays I was mucking out stables, feeding and riding horses! When I wasn’t abroad I made sure to find a riding school in Italy where I was helping out all summer in exchange to be on horses all day long and ride any time I wanted. I was pretty good at it, I always loved the difficult horses, the ones nobody wanted to ride, the ones that needed patience and someone brave enough to take on the challenge. 

I wanted to work with horses. I wanted to become a horse whisperer, work with difficult animals and train them to have beautiful skills. 

When I finished high school I nearly ended up to University in Ireland, we went visiting the University of Galway my dad and I and I did sent my application in for Equine Science but I wasn’t brave enough at the end to make the final step and at the same time an Equine Science course in Italy was opening the door so I decided to stay in Italy.

When Abigail arrived in 2005 she opened my world to the existence of dog training and Border Collies and with Abigail I have found my way back to the UK in 2008 when we spent several months first in Scotland lambing on Loch Tay and Ben Lawyers and later on in England working with horses.

Scotland, hills, sheep, Border Collies…

It is how it all started. I wanted to make it work, I wanted to live in this country but still it wasn’t my time and it wasn’t my journey so I went back to Italy and started my career in the dog world.
Sometimes it’s just not the right time! If you are destined to something and you really want it, it will happen!

I learned, I traveled to the UK for holidays, I craved hills and sheep… but it wasn’t until 2014 that I felt brave enough to try again.

One day I told my parents I wanted to go back to the UK to try working with dogs there. I already failed in the past and came back in 2009 so nobody really believed I could do it.. and it was a difficult journey. I moved to Somerset and then to Devon and I experienced failure, loneliness, betrayal, that feeling of being unsafe away from home and wanting to go back… I kept telling myself I would have tried for 5 year and if It didn’t work I would go back defeated.

My parents and friends helped, supported me from the distance and tried to not make me feel lonely. I made friends and those friends helped me moving on from one situation to the other until I ended up in Cheshire and I started feeling at home.

For some reason the South wasn’t destined for me and I always knew it… that pull for the North, that pull for Scotland and the hills and the sheep.

When you leave your life, your family, your country behind with dreams and expectations you also have to be prepared to have those dreamed sized down to reality. From dreaming of a farm and land and my own sheep I ended up being happy to rent my own town house with a small garden. But it was ALL MINE, after renting rooms in other people houses and having to share space and time with strangers. I love my privacy and I love my routines and finally my own rented house in 2016 was a dream come true… not more the farm on the hills, just a simple house. ALL MINE.

Life goes on and I make friends, build a career, fall in love with Cheshire and go back to train my dogs with sheep when I can… but at the back of my mind I knew that wasn’t my final destination. Why settling for something simply because something else is not at reach yet.

Meeting my partner Bek and finding a common love for things made a whole new difference in my life as we both dream about country life, owning our own animals, having our own land.. we couldn’t believe our luck when her family decided to retire and leave the tenancy of the farm that has been in their family for two generations! It took some work, research and some luck to get there, but our business plan was worth the attention and our dream is going to come true. 

Lancashire is as close as I could get to Scotland, it has hills, sheep… beautiful countryside. I can’t wait to call it home.

That city girl used to have a balcony as outdoor space.

That city girl used to cry every time she her holidays  were over and she had to go back to Milan.

That city girl was the only one of her class to spend summer in the UK to improve her English, as English Language was one of the most important subject in the Language High School and she had a bad grade! (Can you believe it?)

That city girl loved animals more than people and one of the first book that her uncle gave her was the manual for the young ethologist. Animal behaviour and how to study it.

That Italian city girl moved to the UK with her two Border Collies, and became a Border Collie specialist in the country of sheep and hills.. it’s now going to be living the dream she had when she first started working with sheep one spring in Scotland, on the shored of Loch Tay. 

Martina Miradoli Border Coolie Expert Dog trainer

Hello, my name is Martina Miradoli and I specialise in training Border Collies.

I’ve owned Border Collies for many years and have trained them, along with other herding breeds in every sport and activity available.

This has allowed me to gain invaluable experience and an understanding of these unique dogs and the behavioural challenges that we may have to face as owners. 

Related Articles

When the recall fails…

When the recall fails…

I want to be real and tell you exactly the reality of things as there is no point me telling you he is amazing and I'm doing great as that won't help you! I have been feeling more confident lately that he has finally got used to the routine, he sticks around more and...

read more
Understanding Reactivity in Border Collies

Understanding Reactivity in Border Collies

Reactivity in dogs is a term that often raises questions and sparks debates among dog owners and trainers as some don't like the word "reactive" as it doesn't explain exactly what it is that your going is going through.In some ways I agree but I find this is the term...

read more