Galop 1 !

Has28Oct13-25“Team Marla” after the test, and shortly before the result was known.

Yesterday my five year old daughter, Marla, who’s just turned five a few weeks ago, took a test for her first official equitation grade, the “Galop 1” (Galop meaning, lope). Those range from 1 to 7 for general stuff, and up to 9 for teachers. The first level is generally directed at kids around 7/9 yrs of age. It’s Marla’s own coach, Gwen , who ran the test. As a certified instructor, she has juridiction to do so. And don’t believe she would “give it” to the kid just before she teaches -and loves- her. She acted so strict during the test I was actually a bit scared !

Has28Oct13-01Usually I help Marla a lot with preparing her pony, because 1) she’s really young/small and not that strong, and 2)… she tends to be lazy and sloppy about it. Yesterday, as cleaning and gearing up is part of the exam (along with tough theroic questions about it), she had to perform it all on her own.

Has28Oct13-02Thank God Eclaire is an institution of patience !

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Has28Oct13-06Picking and cleaning up th feet was an issue, but with only minimal help, she did.

Has28Oct13-07Then after a few more theoric questions about pony body parts, coat colors, tack parts and the like, it was time for the riding test. I relaxed a bit…

Has28Oct13-08And I was entitled to. She rode like a freaking million bucks !!

Has28Oct13-10She was SO focused and serious it was amazing to watch

Has28Oct13-11But at the same time enjoyed herself immensely, beause she knew she was up to the task.

Has28Oct13-12I usually linger at the arena’s center, cheering up or giving directions over the coach’s (I know, a terrible habit !) but this time I sat in a corner and watched. Not biting my nails… But close !

Has28Oct13-16All the little white signs you see are letter posts. They have been installed last week, and Marla never worked with them. Heck, she doesn’t even know her alphabet well yet ! But yesterday she had to follow directions to perform some specific tasks when hitting specific letters. Like “when you hit R, make a circle”. Thankfully each sign carries a drawing corresponding to the letter, so she was able to comply perfectly. I was stunned.

Has28Oct13-14The benefit of this is to force riders to anticipate, and *look* where they’re headed

Has28Oct13-17Most of the test was done at various speeds of the trot

Has28Oct13-18With patterns to perform (she knows three of them so far)

Has28Oct13-19A couple of little bars to go over. Here Eclaire refused the jump rather sharply (my heart skipped a bit !) and Marla redirected her to go over the jump again. You can see aboslutely no hint of fear on her face, just focus.

Has28Oct13-20And ther they go

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Has28Oct13-22Marla had her older friends cheering for her

Has28Oct13-23End of the test, verdict unknown yet.

Has28Oct13-24She did well, and she knows it.

MarlaOct13-56And… she passed ! Which warranted the purchase of a Halloween costume as a reward, for tomorrow’s riding lesson, in full skeleton attire !

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About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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One Response to Galop 1 !

  1. laurent says:

    Wow! Congrats to Marla!

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