Friday, 31 March 2017

The beginner's guide to a vaulting competition (4)

Part Four: advice for vaulters
  1. Don't change your routine in the fortnight before the competition (ideally this should be month, but hey). This includes the day before and the day of the competition. It also includes when you are actually on the horse in front of the judge.

The beginner's guide to a vaulting competition (3)

Part Three: What to be aware of if you are a friend, family member or other supporter of a vaulter
  1. It's a competition. It's nerve-wracking. Please don't add to the nerves of your vaulter - especially if they are very young - by adding either your own hopes and expectations or your own nerves about seeing them flinging themselves around on a horse.
  2. Don't use flash photography. Some horses are fine with it, but some aren't, and generally there are better times to discover this than when there's someone standing on their back.
    Contrary to popular belief, not a real horse.
  3. Do not get up and start moving around or try to enter/exit the competition arena whilst people are doing a routine. It's distracting for them, the horse, the lunger and the judges. It's rude and can be dangerous. 
  4. Clap for everyone.

The beginner's guide to a vaulting competition (2)

Part Two: Things to consider in the days before your first vaulting competition
  1. This list assumes that you have a routine, music and a costume. If you don't then you probably shouldn't do the competition.
  2. There is a special place in hell reserved for people who do not label their CD (the CD itself!) clearly. Somehow playing the right music at vaulting competitions seems hard enough anyway, so put your name, club and class on your CD as well as a CD case.

The beginner's guide to a vaulting competition (1)

Tomorrow we have our first vaulting competition of the season. It's 'at home' for us which is pretty good - it means we don't have to travel far, we don't have to load the horses, we know where everything is and where it will be, and we have an opportunity to raise a bit of cash for the club. On the other hand there's still lots to organise for our coaches and parents!
Cambridge vaulters at a competition in September 2016.
For quite a few of our vaulters, this is their first competition. Vaulting competitions are really odd if you're only used to 'normal' horse shows, so here is a rough and ready guide to vaulters, parents and spectators for their first event!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Spork theory

The other day, my friend MJ shared an article which you can read here. Before you do that, though, you might want to read up on what Spoon Theory is all about. I've mentioned it before but for a reminder head here!
Basically, the point of the article is that 'Spoon Theory' has its problems.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

RDA A-to-Z

At the moment I'm not up to writing much and I'm not feeling particularly imaginative, so I'm wimping out as a blogger and going for some 'pastiche'-type stuff. Here's the first - an A-to-Z. Who doesn't love a classic A-to-Z? This one is RDA-themed, because I've spent so much time working on RDA committees recently that I can't think of anything else!
A is for Aids. These will be some of the first things you learn about as a new rider and, natural or artificial, they will be the backbone of your ability (which also begins with 'a', by the way) to ride. 'A' is also for Apple. Horses like apples.
Boysie reminding me that he likes apples.
B is for Bay. RDA isn't just about riding - you also learn your horse theory and stable management skills, including all about different horsey colours.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Minor good news story

Amidst all the negativity that builds up between disabled people and the various layers of government, here is one small story which is only partly bad, and is therefore worth sharing!
Like many countries around the world, the UK has a system for helping disabled people to park their cars. I'm often surprised by how many people ask me why we need blue badges, and whether they're just a perk of being disabled, so I'll address that first!

Monday, 6 March 2017

Club membership

I'm sure every wheelchair user has heard this question at least once: “Do you know my friend, x? He’s in a wheelchair too.”
As much as I’d like to say, “No, sorry, we’re not all members of a secret society,” the truth is that somehow we are. If your friend lives somewhere near me (and often even if they don’t) and they are a wheelchair user, then I generally do know them, or will at least have another mutual friend. There are the folk you bump into at sporting events, the folk you meet wrestling cobblestones, those users you seem to bump into waiting for a lift in the shopping centre each week. ‘Users’ takes on a very different meaning to what it conjures up for most people.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Jumping and dressage rosettes

Just a quick update because I'm very, very tired!
Last weekend: jumping with Boysie at Milton. We went clear in the 60cm but both got a bit tired for the 65cm and had two down. We finished 3rd in 60cm and 7th in 65cm, and qualified for the Equine Sports UK Championships in the 60cm class!