It’s day one of Camp and I’m standing in the middle of the dressage arena – white boards within a larger roped off area of the field – with six little people sat on ponies.
I had established the pony that kicked, and she was at the rear of the ride. The biggest pony, who was the most forwards, in the lead. Behind, I parked the speedy, nappy pony with long reins because he looked like he ran up the tail of the pony in front.
Behind this pony was one of the twins ponies. Then the other twin, and then the geriatric and nervous rider. These three were the hardest to organise into the ride because the pony I expected to be quicker than the others actually trotted slowly because of his rider’s high hands, so the other twin had to overtake.
Anyway, I’d just established the order of the ride, and we were attempting a trot as a ride. It was difficult enough as it was to trot individually, but the first two riders set off, then I had to gee up the third pony, which set off the next two. Then the last pony had to cut a couple of corners to stay relatively close to the rest of the ride.
We did it! Everyone was trotting! Success!
And the senior riders who were practising their musical ride next door halted, and stood up on their saddles. The heads of my six riders swivelled right to stare, and the surprised ponies left our dressage arena, before piling to a halt like a stack of dominoes next to the rope.
I struggled not to laugh as I untangled and rearranged them all back into a line.