Cadet Blog: Week 7 - Kate Bell

From learning about broodmare care to having to clock herself while galloping, Week 7 was a week full of learning for Kate Bell. In today’s blog, she shares a day-by-day account of the week and some of her favourite parts.

Monday morning started off wet and soggy with the rain from the weekend, leaving the grounds nice and wet. So off we went to the indoor arena, where we were able to fine tune and improve our riding skills before lunch.

Fitness is a big part of the program and that afternoon we took part in a tough kickboxing session at the gym to improve our upper body strength and truly put our bodies to the test.

Tuesday we were able to ride in the outdoor arena and the track even it was still a bit wet to. We practiced some new drills in the bigger arena, this time improving new skills, such as changing leads, rising diagonals and changing the stirrup lengths while riding, which is harder than it looks. The afternoon consisted of taking a class about problems and issues when it comes to breeding and foaling mares.

This sure has been one of my favourite classes so far. Since the start we have been able to identity factors that can lead to health issues, how to prepare a mare for service and foaling, and basic need-to-knows about taking care of a mare and her newborn foal.

Wednesday was the highly anticipated visit to Gai Waterhouse’s stable. This visit has been one that has both terrified me and excited me. Being in the presence of the ‘Queen of Racing’ was something that I wouldn’t have dreamed of. Meeting Gai was amazing and being able to talk to her and have her show us her stables was something I will remember for a long time to come.

Thursday was our first aid class in the morning, and then out on the grass in the afternoon for riding.

While some of us stayed in the outdoor arena, the rest were given the chance to have more practice out on the grass and take a couple of laps around the sand track. That feeling you get on the track is amazing and some of us ride with a huge smile.

Friday, some of the group went to the track to practice clocking, while the rest stayed at TAFE for more riding. The challenge for our riders today was to practice clocking their time while riding on the track. then compare it to the person who timed them with the stop watch. Some of the counts were close and some were way off and having to clock your own time while riding proved to be harder then what had been originally thought.

After everyone returned from the track and finished up the horses from riding, we were taken for a lesson by David King, who volunteers for the SES large animal rescue. David talked to us about some of the rescues he has done, and some tips that we can use for our own rescues if required. He’s coming back to teach us some rescue scenarios and I’m looking forward to seeing him again next week.