Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I might be kinda scarce around here for the next month.  The weather's finally reliably improved, the leaves are about to pop on the trees, and I have to keep reminding myself that it's MAY now, not those crappy spring months of mud and slime.  But the real reason I'll be busy?


The date is set.  The test involves written (multiple choice, blanks, T or F kind of test) as well as stable management, lungeing, and the riding test.  Just to keep me on my toes I'll be asked questions from levels 1, 2, and 3.  

I won't be writing much, except for my journal, a few blog entries, and lesson plans!  It's okay - whatever I learn in the horse world about perseverance and presentation and perfection can all be transferred over to the writing world.

Here are my requirements...


Candidates will be taught how to:

  • Understand and explain basic collection
  • Execute a simple change of leads from both directions
  • Demonstrate proper lungeing procedures
  • Demonstrate and explain side pass
  • Demonstrate and explain two-track movements
  • Demonstrate all practical work referred to in Rider I, II and III

I have to ride this pattern.

I've been looking at that diagram for over a year and finally believe that I can do all the required moves on that list.  I just have to work on putting all the moves together. For example, coming down from the lope to the jog, then gathering up my reins in order to collect for the two track is something I need to work on.  

It just takes practice.  

I'll be riding every day from now until then, whether I feel well or not.  If I feel gruesome I have to at least drag myself into my truck and get out there... just heave the saddle onto the horse and walk the pattern, if that's all I can do.  I tend to have memory problems, so going through the pattern repeatedly is very important.  

I will be presenting myself and the horse as though we're competing in a horse show.  All clean and shiny and well turned out.  I might even get a chance to borrow a show saddle for the day!

I'll probably be riding Bo for my test.  Bo, the borrowed gelding, the Grumpy Old Goat, the horse I love irrationally even though he acts so tough.  

And he's broke to death.  He can do everything.  He's old and needs a good warm up before working, but he's a hell of a good horse.  My only concern is those long legs of his.  See how tall he is compared to me?  I think we're required to mount from the ground.  I might have to ask special permission to use a block to stand on...

However, I also have the option of riding Skyla, the pony mare,  for my test.  And I do love Skyla!  She is absolutely adorable.

She's only 13.3 and a little better suited to my stature!  She is so much fun.  I just don't know if she'll be conditioned enough to do the pattern by the time the date comes up.

I'll just have to ride both of them each day!  I know - POOR ME.  Neither of them belong to me, but I adore them both.

And yes, if you're looking at the horse show pic above, and concerned about the direction my toes are facing... I've worked on that in the last year.  

I could have put off this test indefinitely, but another student is taking it, and since a second coach is required, it has to be planned in advance.  So, no more caution, no more doubts.  Time to saddle up and ride.  

And study.  Talk at ya later.


coffeypot said...

I'm excited for you, Miss Heidi. I know you have a lot ahead of you, but you will come out with your degree and certificate. Not IF but WILL. Will you be the only one taking the examination or will there be others? Is this like a final exam for a group of classes? Enjoy the experience because there are many who wish they could but are not able. Read you when you get back.

Heidi the Hick said...

Thank you! (I'm taking a break from the Equestrian Federation website... my brain is kinda full!)

The other student, Ali, is taking Level 4 test with me. We've got our coach plus a second coach to test us. It takes about an hour to do the entire thing, sometimes longer.

For this test, because two coaches are required, the Federation wants at least two riders tested on one day. It's a big province and sometimes people have to drive long distances to get everybody together.

It's kind of like a final, yeah.

So after this (not like I want to push things too fast here) WHEN I pass this test (not if) there is another date set for June 13, for the Instructor's Exam. That's the one I prepare a lesson plan for. and am judged on how well I teach.

Then I get my certificate.

Right now, the goal is to pass Level 4.

Which I can do.

I know how blessed I am. My husband is working his butt off so I can do this. I should have been bringing in an income all these years, but he wants me to do this. (And write.)

I'm in a good position. I've got the best coach I could ever ask for, and I'm doing all I can with this opportunity.

Thank you!! Must get back to the books now before I go ride!

CindyDianne said...

Wow! That pattern is an awesome challenge! You can do it. And what a wonderful thing to have the incentive to "have to" ride every day! Awesome. I'll be coming up there for lessons from you as soon enough you'll be a world renowned instructor!

Heidi the Hick said...


cindy, anytime you make it up here to Ontario, you're on. (Show up in July or August when the weather's hot!)

World renowned??? Maybe in parts of my neighbourhood...

ok really must crack open the books now.

Heidi said...

Yay for you! Writing isn't everything... this means just as much to you, and you shouldn't feel guilty at all for letting the writing thing go for a small time.

I think this will be so good for you!

And I would never have noticed your toes. I know nothing about riding horses except that it's preferable to stay on. I do know it's an awesome picture though! :)

mugwump said...

You can do this. Remembering your pattern? Galloping a Breyer through it on a bed sheet marked with any markers you might have in your pattern works wonders. (All of my sheets have little cones drawn on them)
Galloping yourself out in the yard works really well too. Make yourself take the correct lead and hold your hands correctly.
Your friends and family can pull up a lawn chair and mock you heavily.
That will help with competition nerves....

Biddie said...

Of course you can do it!
And did I hear right? Is CindyDiane coming to Ontario??? Lol. Wouldn't THAT be awesome??
Have fun with the riding. I would be all nerves about any upcoming test, but really , you can ace this. You were born to ride.

Patches said...

You poor thing, having to ride every day! Tragic! ;)

Interesting pattern! The breyer horse thing that Mugs suggested does work. I've done it with a friend for drill before.

Very exciting stuff! Good luck!

marsh to the fore said...

Great that you're doing this, Heidi. Fabulous! I know you'll fill us in on everything afterwards!

For now, work hard, enjoy working those horses and we'll all be there waiting anxiously for your report.

Good Luck!

JKB said...

So exciting!!!!

Fingers and toes are all crossed for you, but I know you're going to do great!!!

pseudosu said...

Great pics! You'll do great. Goals are so good for making you do stuff, end after you get that pay-off feeling of accomplishment. Good for you!

hayseed said...

Go Heidi!! I know you can do it- and you can come and teach me anytime-and my band of misfits (I mean horses!).

Heidi the Hick said...

HI! Checking in before turning in.

My legs are sore and Bo the Grumpy Ol Gelding is actually being somewhat nice to me. Hmmm. Should I be worried?

We've been running the pattern as well as practicing parts of it. We were both tired today. It was only an hour ride. Still worth it; I'm pretty sure I got the pattern set in my head now. Forgetting part of it then remembering at the end can be helpful!

I'm studying for my written portion as well. Looks like I'll be writing that next Wednesday, then Thursday morning getting Bo all prettied up before the riding test.


...and then another 2 weeks after that I can take next test which is technically called Certification For Instruction Of The Beginner.

And then I can spend the summer putting people on horses and feel confident that I know what I'm doing.

But, right now... I'm focused on getting Bo and I ready for the Level 4 test.

I'm actually starting to get kind of excited about it! That's good! (Y'know how Mugwump suggested being a horse to do the pattern? I've done that. Like, I was a "grownup" at the time too.)

Thanks for all your cheers!