I’ve wanted to get further training in counselling skills for a number of years. When I started volunteering with the Surrey Drug and Alcohol Careline (as it was then called), I took part in their training programme which served as an introduction to counselling. This only confirmed what I’d already picked up from many long conversations over the years in self-help groups and friends – that I seem to have a knack and aptitude for listening and helping people talk things through.
It’s an impression that my counsellor has confirmed across thirteen years of treatment – to the degree that she’s now helping me pick through the poorly documented and irritatingly diverse number of types of accreditation and training available. It’s proving an uphill and frustrating struggle, but I shall soldier on.
After a good few years of watching my daughter learn to ride, the opportunity came along this week to learn some stable management for myself. Billed as a social event and taster as much as anything else, I thought it would be a good excuse to get out of the flat.
With that in mind, I dragged t’other half out with me last night. She wasn’t quite kicking and screaming, but with the beginnings of a migraine, she was having second thoughts.
In a whirlwind of tools, brushes, cloths and assorted ironmongery that would have had Torquemada reaching to take notes, I cleaned hooves, brushed manes and tails.
I also learned that this particular horse, who went by the name of Nelson, was a bit of a drama queen. We also discovered that he liked being brushed down so much he’d nudge me impatiently each time I stopped to clean the brush off.
We’ll be back next week to see how much has stuck, and then might sign up to do the whole course. If nothing else, being able to tell prospective employers down the line that I’m also a qualified riding instructor has a certain shock value appeal that puts a smile on my face.