There were certain rules, however, that were not allowed to be broken. These included putting tools away, treating the ponies with respect and always, always looking after the tack as it was so expensive. I was only too happy to obey – anything which meant I could stay at the stables all day!
I always tried to pair up with anyone but Kelly, who always thought she knew better than anyone. One Saturday, though, Kelly was the only girl left when I arrived, so it was work with Kelly or go home.
I worked with Kelly.
I wish now I had gone home.
A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION
We were asked to groom Smudge and Bucket (Bucket was always seeking out food and diving for buckets, which is how he got his name). I groomed him and Kelly checked him over when I’d finished but she couldn’t find anything I had wrong.
“We’d better tack them up for the lesson,” she said.
Bucket was a bit naughty about accepting the bit but I got him bridled eventually, giving myself a mental pat on the back. It was the first time I had tacked up all by myself – my skills were improving, defo!
“Let me see how you’ve done,” said Kelly, examining Bucket’s tack with an important air about her. I stood aside, confident that I had done a good job.
“Yes, it’s okay,” she said, tweaking things a bit. “Just loop the reins around his stirrups and leave him.” This was how we usually left the ponies in their stables. However, something I had overheard the previous week stuck in my mind.
“I thought I heard Jane say that Bucket needed to be tied up,” I said, “because he rubs his bridle off.”
Kelly came out of Bucket’s stable and bolted the door. “He’ll be fine. Trust me,” Kelly said, “I’ve been doing this for ages.”
I didn’t argue. Kelly was supposed to know about these things. We left Bucket in his stable, untied.
THINGS GET WORSE…
We were tidying up the manure heap when Jane came around the corner, her face like thunder. Actually, I was doing most of the work and Kelly was supervising.
“Kelly,” asked Jane, in a stiff tone, “did you tack up Bucket?”
“No, Georgina did,” said Kelly, quite truthfully.
“He’s rubbed his bridle off” said Jane. “It’s in pieces, ruined. Why didn’t you tie him up, like I always say?”
“Er…” I said, not wanting to tell tales. I looked at Kelly, waiting for her to own up that it had been her idea to leave Bucket untied. She said nothing, just went a bit red.
“Kelly, didn’t you check Georgina’s work?” asked Jane.
“Georgina said she’d tied him up!” Kelly protested.
I felt my blood run cold. Why hadn’t I been more assertive when Kelly had argued? Jane was furious and Kelly was lying. I couldn’t believe it.
“Georgina assured me Bucket was tied up,” Kelly added.
“I didn’t!” I gasped.
Jane shook her head. “I can’t have people here who tell lies,” she said. “You’re not welcome to come back to help any more, Georgina. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. Collect your things and go home now!”
IT’S ALL OVER
Jane was determined not to listen to my side of the story, and Kelly stuck to hers. I couldn’t believe she’d lied like that about me and she walked off with Jane afterwards, unwilling to face me.
I think Kelly was as shocked as I was – only it isn’t Kelly who can no longer go to the riding school and help out. It isn’t Kelly who misses the ponies, misses riding. Because of Kelly’s lies she’s still at High Farm Riding School.
And me… I’m looking for another place to ride. Because I got barred from my riding school for something I didn’t do.
To read the issue this Real Life Drama featured in, click here to download the April 2013 issue.