I guess this is something I ought to get used to.
Everything today was tinged bittersweet. It was Giorgia’s last day at Eclipse, which means that tomorrow morning we have the horrible task of saying goodbye to her. I remember arriving and meeting her, and asking how long she was staying.
“One month, until the 31st” she replied. And tomorrow she leaves. It’s been a month already? Crazy talk.
It’ll be sad to see Giorgia go, as she’s such a lovely girl. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her and working with her and taking the piss once I knew she could take it. Milano!
We went for an awesome gallop this afternoon, once everything else was done, for her last ride. We picked out ponies, saddled up and headed straight down to the river for a splash and then onto the bank for a good whizz down. Ba-ba-dum-ba-ba-dum-ba-ba-dum was all I could hear as we burned down the riverbank. Coupled with the wind rushing past me, the horsey bums powering away in front of me, and Cleo’s front legs striding out when I looked down, I was happy as a clam.
It was a fantastic ride and Cleo was, as always, amazing.
Earlier in the afternoon we’d been rock-picking, which was super fun as always. And this morning I taught a lesson to seven students on horses ranging from Tonto, the 11h Welsh Mountain pony, to Hayley, the 17h Irish Draught. It was good fun actually. I’d sat down with Ginny beforehand and planned out what we thought would be a good structure for the lesson. We set up the arena, and when they came back from their warm-up trek, we explained the game plan. And away we went.
Fair play to the group, they were all brilliant and really tried to take on board everything I was saying. We were working on trot today, establishing the difference between rising and sitting trot, and throwing in the odd bit of jumping position as well to keep them on their toes (literally. Haha. Sorry I crack myself up).
I was a little self conscious at first, of telling everyone what to do, but when I realised that they were listening and trying to do what I said, my confidence grew a bit and I soon fell into the swing of it. You’d think that with all the teaching we did at college, I’d find it easy, but there’s a big difference between teaching your peers who you know can ride and it’s all a rather staged situation, and teaching kids who genuinely have never trotted before and really need proper guidance if they’re to do it correctly and safely. And some of these kids are tiny with almost no centre of gravity which throws their balance out of the window, so it’s imperative to get it right. And that’s a lot of pressure!
But it went well, and they all seemed to have a good time as well as improving throughout the lesson which is what any instructor should be looking for, right?
My sunburn is agony though. Adele gave me a light slap on the shoulder earlier as a rebuke for kicking her welly across the yard and it stung for about half an hour afterwards. Ouch.
And this evening we ended up having a bit of a zumba session. Well, it wasn’t nearly as deliberate or structured as a real zumba class. What I mean is that Ginny and I put on some music to wash up by, and once we’d finished we ended up dancing around like idiots with Giorgia and a young german girl who is here on a language course. It was good fun, I think we all needed a bit of a physical blow out. I have a feeling Giorgia and Evelyn may have videoed some of it too. Which is not a good thing as I was super classy, dancing around in a cowboy hat with a pint of cider in one hand. Nice!
Tomorrow is going to be a sad day though, as it will start with goodbye. And then there will be no more Giorgia.
We will miss her.