From Endurance to Dressage
Bringing the Barn to Work
Well hello there. I guess this means I'm back. It was a long week, but the migraines have (mostly) subsided - I hope. Even though I took a blogging break and a few days off from riding, the one thing I really couldn't do was miss work. That pays the (equine) bills after all, so I struggled through the week.
I did manage to at least bring the barn to my classroom though as any pony time makes everything better. In the afternoons, my kiddos worked all week on some science stations where they explored activities that had to deal with conserving Earth's resources. In one of the stations, the kids had to build a model of coal formation. The model required dead leaves (easily found right outside my classroom door), rocks, and "sediment."
My students were actually quite impressed to work with ranch dirt. When it came time to pour it into the model, everyone insisted on getting a turn to pour. Kids are so funny.
I run a very relaxed classroom where kids sit at tables instead of desks and where movement around the room is encouraged. Fifth graders simply can't sit for too long of a period before they erupt - sometimes literally.
I do a lot of small-group instruction in a space that is not large enough for 31 kids. That means my students meet with me in an area that we've carved out of the front of my classroom. There's not room for a table, and since my "small" groups sometimes number 15, we usually just sit on the floor - myself included.
At 47 years of age, sitting on the floor for 30 minutes at a time is no longer easy. If you're my age, you get it. If you're not yet approaching 50, you'll understand in about 20 years. My knees and hips just couldn't take it any longer. I love the intimacy of sitting so close to my kiddos though. When we're all at the same level, the instruction is much more personal, and kids contribute more to the discussion.
I had a year's worth of Platinum Performance buckets stacked in the feed room. It didn't feel right to toss them as they are good, sturdy buckets, so I brought them to school. I used a few of them for storing PE equipment, but I had a bunch left over. After one particularly painful morning, I glanced at the stack of unused buckets and came up with a plan.
With the help of one of my students, we covered the Platinum label with a bit of contact paper that was buried in a back cupboard. Some of you might remember my post about hoarding all of the things. You never know when something might come in handy! With the label (mostly) covered - my helper was only 10, and I am not particularly crafty, the buckets make pretty cute little stools.
They have been a roaring success. The students love them, my knees love them, and they take up virtually no room once stacked and stored in the corner. And the best part is that if one gets broken, I can replace it easily as I get a new bucket every month. Thank you, Platinum Performance!
I have one last barn to work story. Since I sit on the floor every day, my work wardrobe runs on the casual side. On top of that, I teach PE daily, and frankly, kids are just messy. Last week I wore white shorts and ended up dropping a loaded rubber stamp right on my pant leg. They now read correct and return in bright blue. The kids thought it was funny. I had to agree.
A month or so ago, I bought that burgundy wrap (above) for a dress that was getting too big (long story) and realized it went great with my sleeveless blouse. With the mornings being cooler, I thought it would look great with a pair of leggings that I don't have. I glanced up at my Horze Full Seat Tights and thought why not?
Not gonna lie, I got a ton of compliments on the outfit. No one could tell they were riding pants. And the best part? They were the most comfortable pants I have ever worn to work, especially while sitting on a bucket.
If you can't be at the barn, bring the barn to work.
10/22/2018 05:43:31 am
You sound like such a great interactive teacher. Cute outfit too!
10/30/2018 06:59:25 am
Thank you. I love teaching, and I always want my kiddos to be talking, moving, and thinking! Flexible seating helps get them out of their desks and wakes them up. :0)
10/22/2018 07:29:54 am
In case you didn't know, there are cushions that can sit on a 5 gallon bucket! Wish I recalled where we got them from, used them when working at greenhouse
10/30/2018 07:00:39 am
I found cushions, but even at $5 a pop, it's too expensive to cover 10 - 15 buckets. I already spend hundreds of dollars a year on my classroom; I don't need to spend any more, but I happily take donations. :0)
10/22/2018 11:44:36 am
The bucket idea is golden! Thanks so much for sharing. And the contact paper looks cool, too.
10/30/2018 07:01:49 am
Right?! We use what we can, don't we?! You know how it is. Not sure high school kids want to sit on buckets, but 5th graders love it. :0)
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: