Saturday, 20 August 2011

Q is for Quiz

Having read some, if not all, of the "Tales from Vaysey Pastures" and this informative Glossary, now may be the right time to test your knowledge of all things relating to life on a livery yard - its own arcane world.

So, for your instruction and amusement, here is the Vaysey Pastures Livery Quiz or How to know if you are sane, a bit of a drama queen or just plain barmy.

Question 1: Your mare kicks the gelding of another livery which is innocently tied up outside its stable. What do you do?

1. Apologise sincerely to the owner and offer to cover any vet’s bills.
2. Patiently explain that your mare is a thoroughbred and that the other horse was only a cob and must have provoked her
3. Ignore it. If asked, pretend it wasn’t your mare and deny liability until you have consulted your insurers and solicitors
4. Claim that the other horse has always been a trouble-maker and should be expelled from the yard this instant. Also call the vet in case your poor mare has jarred herself with all that kicking
Question 2: The dog of another livery has chased your horse, barking and snapping at his feet and making him shy violently. What do you do?

1. Privately, politely ask the owner to keep the dog under control
2. Complain to the owners of the yard and ask them to do something about it
3. Say nothing, but never speak to the owner of the dog again
4. Run after the dog and owner with a pitchfork crying hysterically and screaming obscenities
Question 3: The horse of a fellow livery is diagnosed with a rare illness which requires drug therapy and several months’ box rest. What do you do?

1. Quietly express sympathy to the owner and offer to help out by hand-grazing and lending stable toys
2. Casually tell the other livery that the illness isn’t that serious and that your horse has had much worse
3. Ignore the illness and continue to talk very loudly only about your own pony at all times as usual
4. Call out your own vet immediately because it is obvious that if a common horse can have such a rare illness, your own more refined thoroughbred must be suffering a much more acute version

Question 4: Another livery wins the restricted dressage championship at the local riding club. What do you do?
1. Congratulate her warmly and ask to see the video of her test
2. Listen to her news of her victory without any comment, but go on to describe your own most recent success in great detail and at length
3. Ignore the event completely and leave the yard early that afternoon
4. In the common room, complain loudly that the winning livery knew, bribed or was related to the judge or should have competed in the Open section or invented the whole thing

Question 5: Your favourite crop had gone missing from the tack room. What do you do?
1.Put up a polite notice in the tack room saying it has been mislaid and asking everyone to keep an eye open for it
2. Appropriate the next crop you see “to even things up
3. Send the everyone in the yard to Coventry until the crop is returned
4. Report the loss to the police and, pending their arrival, confront your prime suspect with an allegation of theft and make a citizen’s arrest

Question 6: Another livery has bought a smart new stable rug. What do you say to her?

1. Compliment her, saying it looks comfortable and warm
2. Say “It’s utterly divine and the bestest, most fabulous rug I have ever seen in my entire life!” and rush out to buy precisely the same one that day
3. Ignore it completely
4. Say to other liveries in the common room “Oh, that thing. It’s utterly vile. I have all my Pandora Pixie’s rugs hand-stitched by craftsmen in the Trossachs”

Question 7: Another livery has started to have private lessons from a dressage trainer who is quite well known. What do you do?

1. Compliment her on her choice of teacher and recent improvement
2. Collar the trainer before he leaves and arrange a private lesson on his next visit
3. Ignore it completely and always be off the yard during his lessons
4. Say “I'm sure it’s all right at your level dear. I’ll stick with Sjef ."

Question 8: Another livery never clears her horse’s dropping from the yard, wash-box or school. What do you do?

1. Discreetly point this out and politely ask the livery to clean up after her horse
2. Grass the wrongdoer up to the owners of the yard and ask them to enforce discipline
3. Say nothing but never speak to the wrongdoer again
4. Put up a notice in the common room naming and shaming the wrongdoer and hand to her a steaming parcel of the latest pile with a note “Yours, I think
How to score:

In each of the eight questions, if you select answer 1 award yourself one mark, if you select answer 2 two marks and so on. Total your marks for all eight questions and see below for what your total score means.
Interpreting your score:
If you score is between 8 and 12: Saint
You are a saint. You are polite, generous and patient. You have good judgement and are the perfect livery.

If your score is between 13 and 18: Drama Queen
You are human and may occasionally become a drama queen. You are sometimes defensive, are easily impressed and set great store in having the latest tack, equipment or even ailment. You adore your pony and, in truth, are not really interested in anyone else or their horse.

If your score is between 19 and 25: Passive aggressive
For you life on the yard is potentially very upsetting. You tend to deal with issues by ignoring them, buttoning your lip or running away. You are often taciturn and what the psychiatrists call “passive aggressive”. Your speciality is smouldering resentment.

If your score is 26 or above: Wow!
Your life in livery is an unstable maelstrom of conflicting emotions. Please seek specialist help and do not ride, drive or operate heavy machinery whilst under medication. There may be a place for you at Vaysey Pastures between the villages of Nibble and Dibble in the leafy Vale of Vaysey. I'm sure you will feel right at home.

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