Its been a very, very busy week at the yard and we're quite relieved its (nearly) over! Many members don't realise that the assessment week is the busiest week of the year- not due to customer numbers, but because we need to cover every lesson with two members of staff to make sure we have enough to assess everyone! Everyone seems to have enjoyed their assessment, and assessment sheets that are being handed out are going down well. Just a wee point - we try to make the assessments as public knowledge as possible - we put it on the website, on facebook, on here, on Twitter, in the paper newsletter, the electronic newsletter, on flyers on the desk in reception and on posters on the yard. Its dissappointing when we then have a couple of members complaining that they didn't know about it - we feel we are telling everyone in as many ways as we can, but if you have any ideas for other ways to get the information across, just let us know!
To try and let everyone understand why the assessments are such a busy week, we've done the timetable below from a member of staffs week - this will maybe explain why some of the assessments flip into the second week.
This member of staff would normally be off on a Sunday and a Thursday.
Into work for 8 as assessing all day so no day off. Help on yards and do surfaces, then assess straight through from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30p.m. Assessment sheets are done on computer, so need to get them all typed up whilst assessing, and sometimes have to do two lessons at once, which is a challenge! Finish at 5.30, but still have to ride 2 horses as no time during day. Home at 8.30p.m .
Into work for 8, no lessons at night as torch coming! Spend a few hours doing staff training, going over what had been noticed in Sundays assessments, teaching staff on Hagrid. Start assessing at 4p.m. till 5.30p.m. and then spend 2 hours ensuring all Sunday and Monday sheets are up to date (can't go home, as have to wait and make sure torch gets past without horses going bananas). Ride one horse, help livery with another. Home 9p.m
Into work for 8 - crazy day as vet coming to x-ray 4, do 6 teeth, vaccinate 4. Farrier is also here (shoeing 10) and private lessons on through day. Help vet with x-ray horses, discuss results, dash off to help livery with another vet for their horse. Try to ride at least one horse that has been booked to be ridden by livery. Start assessing at 4p.m., finish assessing at 6p.m but then due in x-country field to prepare demo riders for Saturday night x-country demo. Finish 8.30p.m, check own horse, home 9.30p.m.
Long lie! In at 11.30 (hour early as need to ride own horse), staff training for an hour, catch up with Tuesdays assessment sheets, get Wednesdays sheets ready. Start assessing at 4p.m. Finish 8.30p.m. Home 9.30p.m by time yards checked and horses out.
Day off, well needed. Unfortunately, come in to ride own horse to find a complaint that Thursday lessons are not being assessed till next week - try to explain that a day off is needed.
Riding school closed. Own horse private lessons (3), do surfaces in prep for weekend, staff training, prepare Saturdays assessment sheets (busiest day with over 100 riders so takes a while). Finish 6.00p.m. ride two horses. Home 8p.m. Was meant to be admin day catching up with bookkeeping/wages - ooops.
Start at 8, catch up with another member of staff who is in to cover lessons for assessments. Start assessing 9.30a.m, finish 4.30p.m. No time for lunch break as lessons on continually. Dash home at 5.00p.m. to drop dogs off, back for 5.45p.m to prepare for x-country demo. Quickly scribble some notes on what to talk about, as no time during week for prep. Demo starts 6.30p.m, runs till 8.30p.m. Seems to be a success. Have a nice BBQ in school after, enjoy a well deserved cider and look forward to day off next day.
So whilst we think the assessments are great and that its a good tool for everyone (including us), we're glad its only once a year!
The veterinary checks all went well - the first lot (Hagrid/Henry/Apache and Chance) show no athritis in their front feet, have good balance and have perhaps the start of athritis in their hocks (expected) so their hocks will now be medicated with steroids. The next lot will be x-rayed next month.
Thanks to everyone who attended the x-country demo, a turnout of 50 was pretty impressive in the pouring rain for an outdoor demo!