Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moving on up

Well we did, Red and I passed our C certificate Exam. We are now the proud holders of the C level badge (well not really, I haven't recieved the actual badge yet). Every wednesday night I would drive an hour to Sues house in the whop whops. I studied the theory side of the exam with a couple of other girls there. We discussed, we talked, we ate some chocolate cake and we revised all the particulars of the C exam and finally last night we sat it.

Sue didn't give us much warning about when we were going to sit it. In fact she only gave us one day. She also neglected to tell me until lunch time yesterday that Red needed to be plaited. I had work till 5.30 and the exam started at 6.10. and I can't get up to PC till 6. Luckily my amazing friends came to the rescue. When I arrived at Pony Club last night Red was standing tied up in all his plaited glory. Stephanie, one of the older riders had even plaited his tail for me.

Soon we were in the arena, following the direction of the judge. All was going well, its a relatively easy exam, until the judge said "Take your feet out of the stirrups" and then "Cross the stirrups over please, we're going to do some sitting walk and trot". Now I can bareback as well as the next person, it took me awhile but now I feel completely secure with no saddle on Red. But sitting trot in the saddle is a completely different thing. I combed my brains for all the information I had ever heard on sitting trot in the saddle with no stirrups. I relaxed, put my heels down and low and behold TROTTED! And I didn't fall off.

Next it was the show jumping. You might remember that last time I show jumped it didn't go quite as planned. I tried not to think about it as we trotted around the jumps. "We are going to go clear" I chanted over and over to myself (in my head). "You may do some practice jumps" the judge declared. "Here we go" I thought to myself as we cantered towards the jump. SLAM! Red threw on his breaks. He did it twice more before I got him over. Teresa was first, her horse Copper refused at the big barrel jump but was fine after that. Then it was Red and I. The first part of the course was simple and we did it with no trouble, but then we reached the barrels. I rode Red in, legs on, eyes up but he refused. I turned him around and rode him towards its again, he refused. We tried again and again he refused. Now I was getting angry, I turned him around, determined to make it over. He cantered in and I felt him hesitate so I put my legs on hard. He came almost to a standstill and then took a leap. It was one of his huge jumps that clears the heights by miles. I came flying out of the saddle and landed with a thump on his neck, my jaw wacked hard against his head. I felt myself slipping so I monkey grabbed around his neck with both my hands and legs. I then managed to wiggle myself back into the saddle. And with my head pounding Red and I finished the course with no other mishaps.

Cross country was next and we went clear with no problems what so ever. After a bit of theory with the judge we were told we had all passed!

So congratulations my darling Red, thanks for helping me pass. I'll love you forever no matter how many times you refuse :)


Wayne Jones said...

Well done Katie & Red..we have Carol & her horse Otis & her trainer Tracy, they ride always without stirrups, canter & Spanish walking its amazing to see...but once again well done to both of you & your dear helpers.. Wayne

Anonymous said...

Well done Katie! I know first hand what a lovely horse Red is and I know too he will refuse less and less often as you keep working on him. Hold on to your dream