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Riley drew the short straw

Riley was as good as gold all week and sometimes I think he knows what a star he is… Even something routinely normal, like being turned out, can turn into a special moment…
On a Tuesday Riley and I normally have a lesson together however this week came with a twist, as only one of us worked hard, and it was Riley that drew the short straw.  Jenny been schooling him alternate weeks although this week, Tuesday was the only day that she was available, so she rode him instead of me.

He had a good schooling session and Jenny worked on his canter and his outline. As she trotted 20 metre circles, I looked on wishing mine were as good as that.

Afterwards I turned him out, and I think he was surprised when only an hour later I brought him back in again for his booster vaccination from the vet.  Although he wasn’t in the stable for too long before I turned him out for a second time.

The test begins

On Thursday, Riley and I had our British Horse Society Silver Ride Out Safely Award assessment.  Only one of us was nervous since Riley didn’t have a clue he was taking part in an exam.
Riley and I had been practising for our ride safe examination for the past four weeks
We had been practicing each Thursday for four weeks previously in preparation for this exam so felt that we were both well prepared for what we were about to face. The examination began in the indoor school where we were assessed on our ability to ride safely in a school amongst other riders, rather like the old cycling proficiency test which I can just about remember taking many years ago, and then were asked to demonstrate our ability to ride on simulated roads which had been set up inside the school before the session began, all of this whilst being asked questions to test our knowledge of riding safely, hazard awareness and highway code knowledge relevant to riders. We ended with a short, assessed hack and finally an emergency dismount.

Off to the stable I went, certificate in hand for a photo with Riley

Our very first certificate together. I will always treasure this certificate and this moment with Riley
I couldn’t have asked any more of Riley as he was wonderfully well behaved from start to finish.  As I untacked him afterwards, I couldn’t help wondering whether we had passed.  About 30 minutes later, all the candidates were called over and we discovered that we had all been successful and we were presented with our certificates from the BHS assessor.  So off to the stable I went, certificate in hand for a photo with Riley as a reminder of our first test together. It was so lovely to have been able to share the experience together and ride him in the test.  I was so proud of him and felt so happy.

Riley’s impromptu break

I must admit for the rest of the week, he spent his days relaxing in the field.  I was preparing for my British Horse Society Stage 1 Care assessment amongst other things so riding took a back seat. Not that Riley minded one little bit. I am sure he appreciated an impromptu holiday although it is back to work properly next week for him.      
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Sharon Howe

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