Pre-Occupied

My mind is a hive of activity!

I have got so much going on in my head at the moment it’s possible I may break down/go insane/cease to function altogether at some point in the not to distant future. You think I’m joking, that my dry, sarcastic and self-deprecating humour has come forth once again. But in actual fact I think I may be at risk of at least one of those things if I’m not careful.

It’s that time of year I guess. We’re trying to wind up everything with our college work, which easier said than done given that every time I think I’m somewhere close to being done the tutors remind us of yet more things that we need to do before we can leave. Alongside that, we have officially begun plans and preparation for the college open day at the beginning of June. Those of you who have been reading my humble blog since the beginning will know what a wonderful occasion the open day was last year and how successful everything was and what a buzz I got from it. What you may remember less, but I remember all to well, is the crazy stresses that go with it. The planning. Oh my giddy golly days the planning.

We are, once again, putting on two musical rides this year. The first year students have the somewhat monumental task of learning our James Bond themed ride from last year. They have the routine and music already prepared for them, but I won’t say it’s an easy task to learn the movements. It’s tricky. And as it’s a bunch of totally different horses doing it this year, it’s going to be even more of a challenge. They’ll do it though, and they’ll do it brilliantly. I know they will.

For the second ride, we have a slightly mish-mashed group from across the different years. Plus we’re learning a brand new routine, which we are yet to put music to. And guess who got the jolly old task of sorting the music. Yup, no prizes if you guessed yours truly. Kelly turned to me with that Cheshire cat smile on her face and said “we might need some good music for it…”

Sigh. And because we haven’t developed a theme as we know we’ll be riding in our college uniforms, it’s even harder to try and put together a piece of music. I’ve had several ideas, but I keep coming up against obstacles. Part of the issue is keeping everyone happy. At the end of the day, it’s all about putting on a spectacular show for the audience, not about us and whether we like the music we’re riding to. I can absolutely guarantee that no matter what music it ends up being, I will detest it with great zeal by the time open day comes around. But, as we’re working in a group of six, we all have to compromise one way or the other whether that be over the horse we ride, the music we use or the days we practice. It’s a team effort, and it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Yesterday heralded the official beginning of planning and practicing. I ended up standing in for one of the first years who was absent, which involved walking the routine on foot first, and then riding it alongside the students who will actually be doing it on the day. What I was less surprised than I expected to be about, is that I remembered the whole god damn thing. Every step. Every transition. Every blinking second of music. Of course it was different, because I was in a different position and on a different horse, but the essence was the same.

I then had to walk a brand new routine on foot, stopping every so often to discuss whether bits worked, change them and then go back and try again, before riding it through on a horse. First in walk, and then adding in the trot and canter. I think it’s going to work well. All it needs now is music. Which I’m working on, and like I say, I’ve got some good ideas, I’m just struggling to get past the preliminaries with any of them.

Add all of that to the fact that we still have a whole load of practical assessments left to do for college, an intercollege competition to prepare for, a study tour which takes us away for effectively a week of college, plus I’m working as much as I can to pull away from my overdraft before I go to Ireland. Oh yeah, and that’s creeping up quickly too because before I know it, I’ll be panicking about packing my car up again. Provided it passes its MOT this year.

So you understand why I haven’t posted in a while? Oh good, I’m so glad. For a minute there I thought you might get upset that I haven’t been I touch for so long. Believe me when I say, I’ve thought of you, I just haven’t had the time to act on it. My brain is such a scramble of things to do and more things to do that I’m struggling to remember my own name half of the time.

At some point, and god knows when it’ll actually be, I need some time to wind down, blow away the stress residue and reset.

Anyway, all that aside, I get to ride my lovely Fox for our musical ride. He was a darling in the practice yesterday. Okay, so he got a teeny bit excited and fast in the canter, but he remained under my control and working very nicely alongside the others. He’s such a dear. LOVE. And when we do it on open day and he’s perfect for the whole thing, everyone will look and say “My my, what a marvellous horse, isn’t he just something, now I feel terrible for all the name calling and face pulling I did at him” and he will be right where he belongs, a little spot of sunshine.

I love that pony.

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