At the End of the Year

What a scary thought

Today was basically the last day of our college year. A few people have assignments left to do, and crazy ones like me will continue going in and working on the yard anyway. But officially, the year is over. It feels a bit weird to be honest.

I know my brain isn’t going to switch off, even though I’ve handed in all of my assignments. I’ve already done it. Got back to the cottage this evening, set up my laptop and thought “right, which assignment should I work on tonight”. NONE. There are none left to do. Woohoo.

As I said, I’ll still be going in to the yard as it means I’ll still get to ride and if I don’t then my physical fitness will drop like a stone. Besides, I like it on the yard. And what else would I be doing?!

So today was a day of rounding off and tying up loose ends. We also had an interesting mini competition which was a laugh. I’m afraid to say I was pretty appalling and cheated my way through. But it was good fun.

I also got the chance to do some lungeing today which was a really good experience. I’ve not done much lungeing, so I’m still learning more effective techniques and my hands are still not quite quick enough with the lunge-line and whip. But I really enjoyed it and I got some nice paces out of the horse. I was using side-reins on a mare who is fab, but works without any frame whatsoever. At first she was reluctant to work into them and tried to muck about. After a while, however, she started to relax and worked nicely, keeping up a steady forward going trot and stretching her head down into the contact of the reins. It was nice to see her working properly for once, and I really enjoyed the fact that I able to help her get there.

I learned a lot more about the importance of body posture and tone of voice as well. When I asked nicely, she mostly just ignored me and slowed down. I found that I had to really mean it when I told her to “Trot ON”. While all the theory of lungeing told me that I had to stand and pivot on one spot, I learned that in some cases (such as with a super lazy mare) you have to walk a circle yourself in order to keep her going forwards. I often found myself have to reel in by a loop on the line in order to push her on a bit more before loosening the line again.

Next week I think I’m going to get another chance to have a go at some lungeing as well as learning some more about basic physiotherapy, techniques for restraining and handling difficult horses and something else that Kelly decided to keep quiet until Tuesday. I’m quite excited about it to be honest, as a lot of this stuff isn’t on our syllabus which means it gets left out. When it comes down to employability, however, this is some of the most important stuff. I’m hoping that by taking up the opportunity to learn some of these industry techniques I’ll be able to increase my employability as well as adding to my bank of skills. It should also help improve my confidence, as the more I learn the more capable I feel.

And that’s the whole point of being at college. By this time next year I’ll have finished college completely and will be looking for work in the real world. While it’s tempting to pretend I’ve got ages until I need to worry about that, it really isn’t all that long at all. When I look at how fast this year has gone, it’s rather scary really.

So I guess I ought to start thinking about what comes next…



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