Oh boy. It has been a long day.
The bulk of work I do for the riding school is just nice simple muck moving, feeding and general care of the horses when the school is not open to clients. That suits me.
I am also there on Saturday mornings as that is when the girl and boy have their lessons. I am mainly there as simply a parent and while I do work with clients on lesson change overs, take details and fill forms with new clients and occasionally lead a hack I confine myself on the whole to supporting the boy in his lesson given he requires a little more support due to his needs (he is doing amazingly well, better than we had ever dare hope and I am being kicked out of the lesson more and more!) and working with a youngster (of the pony variety). So, to cut that long story short, I am not accustomed to dealing with small child clients over a sustained period.
Today I had the pleasure of a group of 5 children aged from 5 to 10 years old. Worse yet, two of them where mine. My dear friend who is, in reality, the head instructor and manager (although she would swear at you and say ‘am not! NOOOO!!!’ if you said so in her hearing) had organised the Christmas pony day and party with a lovely range of activities both on and off horseback. The only problem was that the timings where tighter than your trousers on boxing day and we where dealing with animals and children. We where behind before we started largely caused by the paradox of many of the children being dropped off early. Still, I tried to get into the spirit of the thing.
I and the other poor souls designated group leaders managed to get our charges through to the picnic party lunch with only minor mishaps and nobody under 18 was crying so we have to call that a win. The boy was over the moon with his first ever rosette awarded for coming 3rd in musical ponies and the girl was happy she had placed higher than her brother. It was soon time to swing back into the fray for the fancy dress competition, something I just hadn’t been able to face thinking about so the boy wasn’t entering (thankfully his panic at ‘being’ anybody but himself was helpful on this occasion) and the girl was entering as a very last moment ‘fairy on the top of the tree’ costume consisting on a neon pink tutu over her jodhpurs, some tinsel round her hat and a scrap of tinsel on her whip as a ‘wand’. The teenagers on the yard really go all out for this annual tradition and this year it was won by the pony who’s Father Christmas get up even included real flashing lights on his rug. I would love to bring you pictures of the wonderful sight of all this but you will have to cope with the tree fairy that was the girl as I didn’t manage to snap any other pictures because I am a bit rubbish when it comes to remembering I have a camera and then there was the fact every time I turned my back my group of kids all went in different directions. I think they planned it.
I was taken off guard at the end of the day when my ‘so not the manager or head instructor honest’ friend managed to bar my escape route and then talk about all I do for the school to all pupils and parents. She said some very nice things that a wholly undeserved and made me go very pink. While it is nice to have hard work recognised and it was lovely to hear a friendship you value is reciprocated I really hate being the centre of attention. Still, I am extremely touched my the thought even though much of what I do at the school is for purely selfish reasons!
I am now going to go and sleep. I should be finishing wrapping gifts, tidying my home and the plethora of other jobs that still need doing but in time honoured tradition, I am just too wiped. It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve is Mum wasn’t running around loosing her mind all day and was then up until the small hours wrapping gifts that will be unwrapped in seconds mere hours (if you are lucky) later. It is all part of the magic that is Christmas.
Ho Bloomin’ Ho.