Jenny's story continues with her preparations for the PTT and Stage 3 exams...
Preparation for the Preliminary Teaching Test.
The PTT is a tough exam and with all the syllabus changes this year my own instructors were unsure what the examiners expected of us. I'd been doing a lot of teaching practice on the yard I'm working in and I was grateful of that practical experience. My worries about the BHS exams were mainly based on my riding ability so I was more confident going into this exam than my Stage 1 and 2. I must remind you that a few months ago it was looking unlikely that I would get through my Stage 2 exam so I was thrilled to be even doing my PTT!
On the day of my PTT, I used tapping to help calm my nerves and it really helped. I was the first candidate to take a group lesson that morning and it was a great start to the day. Then I went on to present my 10 minute lecture and had a lunge lesson to give in the afternoon. I found the PTT the least stressful of all the exams because you've considerable gaps between each section so you have plenty of time to get your head together!
And the result.....I PASSED! Not only did I pass, I got a clean result sheet, which was a great confidence boost....now all I had left was the Stage 3.
As the date for my Stage 3 approached I started to become more and more anxious and less confident about my ability to pass it. I allowed myself to get into a terrible negative attitude and thankfully Jo was able to help me pull myself out of this. I had been tapping for the day to day things but there were clearly some other bigger issues that needed to be addressed before I could let go of the fear associated with the Stage 3. During a session with Jo I realised that my body was still holding onto the painful memory of a carcrash I was in when I was 6 and a recent fall I had. I hadn't even thought about these things consciously but the fear of getting hurt started to seep into everything I was doing and I found myself approaching jumps like a rabbit facing headlights. I was frozen, completely dazed and unable to react quickly enough to avoid getting hurt. One week before the Stage 3 I seriously considered withdrawing from the exam. I didn't know how I could possible face a course of 1m jumps and a cross country course!
4 days until the exam and I was in a desperate state but didn't really know why. So I called Jo and we tapped through some of my fears. I was still apprehensive about the exam but I was certainly feeling better than I had in weeks. On the morning of my exam I tapped for my anxiety and any other issues that were bothering me. This only takes a few minutes but helped enormously. When I arrived at the exam centre and walked the showjumping course I was remarkably calm. I discreetly tapped my way around the oxer, the double, the related distances with relative ease. I have to point out that if you'd told me the week before I'd be jumping a course this size I would have been physically sick.
I was part of the first group to ride flatwork. Unfortunately I quickly realised I wasn't at Stage 3 standard and it's highly unlikely I got the riding section. But my fear was gone and I'm confident I'll return to the riding section in a year's time and be more prepared to meet the standard. I absolutely flew through the jumping section on a 16hh, grey, flighty mare. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the cross country. It was a strong cross country course with 8 fences, including drops, spreads and plenty of logs. I was completely unfazed by any of this because I'd tapped through my fears and so could enjoy my round. At this point I should probably tell you the last time I did cross country I was around 12 and have spent most of the past few months working within the confines of an arena. So it was an extraordinary turn around to be faced with open fields and big jumps and enjoy every second of it.
I'm still waiting on my Stage 3 results. Hopefully I passed the management section because I had put in a lot of study for that. While it's unlikely I was at the standard needed for my Stage 3, I am still delighted with myself for even completing the exam. Jo has helped me come such a long way in a relatively short space of time and I am so grateful for her help. I couldn't have done it without her.
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