One Down…

Starting something is half the battle.

The first day of school, asking for an application form, agreeing to go on a date. These things are all at the beginning of potentially longer and challenging experiences. But in most cases it is actually getting through that initial barrier that will be the hardest part. Getting the ball rolling, so to speak, is the most important part of any venture as after that first hurdle things usually start falling into place.

That’s certainly how it seems to me anyway. Having finally started working towards my BHS Stage One, I am now feeling more confident in the fact that I will actually achieve it. We’re doing it through progressive tests rather than an exam which suits me much better as I tend to panic in a high pressure situation. We have to be assessed, but that’s okay as it’s on a more informal basis and with Sonya rather than an unknown examiner.

So, today we successfully completed the first test card. It was pretty basic really; leading and tying up horses, catching in and turning out. Then there were other bits we had to talk through such as behavioural aspects of the horse in the stable and signs of good health. We also had to show that we knew the points of the horse, and the different colours and markings. That was the stable management side, and the riding side was not much more complicated.

We had to maintain a good position in walk and trot, discuss the aids used to get the horse to halt, walk and trot and be able to adjust our stirrups and girth. The most entertaining part was giving each other leg ups. I think it is fair to say we are all pretty rubbish. It’s tougher than it looks really, to get that momentum right. And if you don’t place enough trust in the other person then you won’t be able to work in unison to get the push at the right time. We all managed it, however, without too much of a problem. It barely took ten minutes to cover all of the necessary stuff for that test card and so we were then able to work on some other things instead such as getting the canter transitions nice and smooth and balancing the horses properly.

I remembered all of the stuff I’d done with Kelly yesterday so I was able to keep myself sitting tall with a strong and controlled core. I still need to work on keeping more of an angle in my elbows, but on the whole I think my position is now at a point where it only needs fine tuning.

There were also a couple of work experience students in so I spent some of the day helping to supervise and guide them in various tasks on the yard. They both have some experience of horses though, so it was just a case of helping them find things and teaching them the way we do it at Holme Lacy. They are lovely girls though and up for a laugh as well which means the rest of the week should be quite fun.

So, now the first test card is complete, there are only five to go. I know a couple of them have more complicated stuff on, but we’ll have time to learn all of that. There won’t be time to finish them before Tillie and I go to Ireland anyway.

And on that note: OH MY GOD. It’s July! That means we go away really really soon. Eeep! How exciting.

I should probably start preparing really.

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