Monday, 1 December 2008

Stage IV exam report ...or rather an attempt to write one

I set my alarm up for 5am and put my phone as far away from bed as possible so I actually had to consciously acknowledge the ringing rather than just reach for the phone and switch it off ;)
It rang obediently...
Actually, wait. Let's go back to Sunday for a moment.
I woke up on Sunday with a cold. It's not what you want when you look out of the window, see freezing drizzle coming down from the sky and you know you are going to spend all day outside teaching. I used to ride with this trainer who, every time the weather was beyond bad, sang this silly song from an old barbie-and-her-horse commercial which went something like: 'I love horses bla bla bla'.... this trainer had this particular talent to make this sweet-girls-love-ponies song into the most sarcastic concert you can imagine. Anyway, every time the situation calls for it, that song pops into my head.
So yes, 7am, Sunday morning, bad cold and a stupid song in my head, I put about 10 layers of clothing on me and go out. You may think I am mad but this morning chill, the rain, the freshness of it, still makes me feel so alive that I wouldn't swap my life for anything indoors even if you paid me ten times the money.
I got to the yard and came up with a splendid idea - one of those that you come up with when you are not quite with it and had lost all your hindsight. I cannot tell you exactly what I did as the yard owner would give me a health & safety lecture lasting a week. Either way, I ended up falling from height and hitting my head.
This is exactly what you need when you already have a headache due to cold.
Got Suzanne at the yard to inspect whether my brain wasn't leaking through a hole in my head (she did try to catch me bless her!), she reported none of such, so I continued teaching, this time with a group of builders in my head doing pneumatic drilling on my skull.
Did I say I teach some fab people on Sundays? Well, I do. They must have been a little concerned as one of my riders brought me some rather magical "cold liquid" (traditionally Greek I think) made of pure lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, clove, some other things I don't remember, and whisky. I drank it hot and it was SO tasty, warms you up in a matter of minutes. I decided to "be ill" every Sunday during this winter now ;)
Believe it or not, I think it did help!
Ok, fast-forward, back home, spent some "quality" time trying to remove dried blood from my hair! Not an easy task with my length of hair (think it's going to be chopped off next week!).
Checked if my riding hat still fitted me - it did but it was compressing my new skull design.
I very wisely decided to revise until 2am.

So, 5am this morning. Head still on (just!), stupid fever (medicines packed), stupid cough and unbelievable desire to sleep - off I popped to head to the examination centre.

I really, really wish I could tell you all about the exam but I don't remember that much! Was so cold I was shivering like mad, felt a bit dizzy too so if I did fail I am going to put all down to hitting my head the day before ;)))

My schedule of the day was: Practical 1, Theory 2, Practical 2, Theory 1. First thing, had to measure TPR (temperature, pulse and respiration) on a given horse, comment on findings etc Show the worming procedure (with a wormer but without actually releasing the paste into the horse's mouth).
Name ligaments and tendons on a given horse, assess their condition on given horse, discuss the role of each. Then, get another horse out, discuss its conformation, soundness, trot it up.

This was followed by bitting discussion (I had to choose a bit for a horse that is very strong xc and likes to carry his head low and explain my choice - went for a gag) and tacking up: had to 'tack up for cross-country but use double bridle, breastplate with martingale, overgirth, exercise bandage on one hind leg, suitable boot on the other plus apply knee bandage/dressing. Then discuss all that. Think that was it in that section.

First Theory was on feeding, fittening mostly. Didn't remember why selenium is needed in feed stuffs (so I am now going to be a blooming expert on it!).
Theory 2 was on bodily systems, breeding, grassland management from what I recall. The last theory was actually my favourite one, we got to drink hot tea (yay!!) and I even managed to stop shaking.
Forgot the name for harrow though so the examiner says: ok, so describe it. And silly me says: 'Well, you take a tractor, attach this big metal thing with spikes behind it and you go around the fields with it. Very embarrassing. I'm normally quite nervous at exams but not this time; the only thing I could think of by then was that I wanted to be back in bed sleeping.

All in all - have no idea if I passed or not. I didn't answer all the questions like I did the harrowing one, I reckon I did make sense now and then.

Arrived home around 2pm I think and fell asleep almost immediately, woke up about 8pm. Feeling a bit better!
I will be pleasantly surprised if I passed.

Ok, now I feel I almost have too much time on my hands as don't have to revise...all I have to do now is to organise my transport to the airport (what a pain!) and then await seeing my family so very soon!!! :)
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