Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Things are slowly going back to normal and a word about Intermediate Teaching Test exam

Jack says: "You mean, I cannot snack while waiting for my turn to jump???? Oh how rude!"

Together with the reduction of the constant pain in my jaw comes a significant increase in my joy de vivre! The drugs are making me feel a bit dizzy and drowsy but I can deal with that. 
It was still quite tough on Tuesday but today I was just in mild discomfort so am hoping it's all on a smooth way to recovery. 
There is a XC competition at the yard this weekend and the Mini Badminton event for Reading University Riding Club next week so we are running lots of cross-country lessons. As much as I enjoy it there are some rather heart stopping moments when riders *forget* to ride to the fences and horses' engines lack the push! I would normally growl at them right there and then but my vocal skills are at great disadvantage at the moment. 

My Intermediate Teaching Test exam day is in just about a month and I am determined to pass it ;) For the last few weeks I've been focusing on teaching group lessons according to how examiners like to see it. The main difficulty with the exam is that you only have about 25 minutes for your lesson (and to show what you know!) so the structure of the lesson has to be very different to your usual 45 min or an hour session. As you probably can figure out from my posts I am quite strict about development of rider's seat and body awareness and often spend a lot of time in the lesson on those but I can't do this at an exam. I am therefore thinking about the ways to incorporate simple corrections that make biggest difference in riders but which can be done 'on the move' so the whole lesson is flowing and interesting. 
I am very aware that my way of teaching is more suited to committed, more serious riders than an average recreational rider so I am working hard on tweaking my style to fit various stages of the exam (Group flatwork lesson, group jumping, private jumping or XC lesson, private dressage lesson and lunge lesson to improve rider's seat). 
Next on agenda is to focus on dressage lessons and again how to compact them into 25 minutes time slot. I haven't competed Elementary dressage (level required for exam) since about 2002 so I bought all the BD Dressage Elementary Tests to go through them properly and make sure I am familiar with the sequence of the movements required. Many a time I find that riders can ride single movements fairly well but have problems riding them in the test. The way the movements are connected is designed to test the horse's and rider's level of training and if there are any gaps in the education of either it often shows then.

While browsing I came across this cleverly drawn dressage arena layout with dimensions put on: 


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