Thursday, 23 February 2017

Thinking about failure

A recent article I wrote for the Blue Bird News looked at how we use failure: I consider it to be a crucial component of training. You can read it here
I love this!

I suggest you read the article first but here are some more thoughts on how to handle and approach failure:

Monday, 20 February 2017

The Para Vaulter (days 1-4)

In a bid to raise awareness of paravaulting and, more selfishly, to raise awareness of what I'm trying to do with it, I've set up a new twitter account. I'm still using my old one for fun stuff, and still running some RDA stuff, but now I also have an account devoted to vaulting. If you're on twitter, feel free to look up @TheParaVaulter and click 'follow'!

One of the things I want to do is pop a photo up most days to show what we get up to at vaulting. Of course, you can just go to twitter, but for those of you who don't want to get dragged into all that can just have a look on here!

Day 1:
The quickest way to see para-equestrian vaulting? This video!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

An owie and a SuperDog

This week is a brilliant week for Cambridge vaulters. On top of our normal sessions, we had a whole day of vaulting on Tuesday (yay half term!) and we have a longer session tomorrow (Sunday) because there is a BEV coaching conference going on, so some of us are going to go and be guinea pigs. The only minor problem I've had with this is that on Tuesday, right at the start of the session, I busted my ankle.
so I've been re-acquainting myself with this diagram!
The vaulters all warm up each time by running around and playing games like bulldog/It/stuck in the mud and so on before we do stretches. Obviously running around isn't my strong suit so I have taken to bouncing on a mini trampoline (we have one for each barrel to help with solo mounting). This is more tiring than it sounds but I can lean on a barrel and push off it a bit to stop myself falling over, so it's a relatively safe way for me to warm up.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Did it again and did it better

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about entering another dressage competition. You can read that article here, and the report of the previous competition (which didn't go so well!) here.

Well, I'm pleased to report that the re-run of the bad competition turned out much better.

Native breeds - extra info!

I chatted to some people at the stables about the difference between New Forests and Connemaras. Apparently, a New Forest pony has a 'boxier' head than a Connemara, which has a pretty head a bit more like a Welsh pony. So, if I see something that looks like either a New Forest or a Connemara, I have to decide how pretty it is to tell the difference!
New Forest pony
Connemara pony

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Native breeds of pony

At the moment I'm preparing for my RDA Bronze test. The riding element is really quite basic, but the 'Horse care' section is a bit more complicated! Since I need to revise this stuff (and try to remember it) I thought I'd write it up here - this should also fill a gap in the online literature for others preparing for this test. There are all sorts of sections, so I'll concentrate on one thing each time. Today, it's British native breeds!
Here's what it says on the syllabus: Candidates should be able to "describe the characteristics of five of these native breeds: EXMOOR, DARTMOOR, SHETLAND, NEW FOREST, CONNEMARA and WELSH." So! Here goes.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Do it again and do it right!

On Saturday, I'm going to do my first dressage competition since the fiasco just before Christmas. I'll be riding Boysie again, and this time we're just doing one test (Prelim 7 - or possibly Prelim 2 - or possibly Intro C as well, who knows!) so I need to make the first attempt count! I'm reading for one of the younger vaulters who is doing her first dressage competition (Intro B) and then I should have loads of time to warm Boysie up and get him both relaxed and focused.
I love this clever chap!
So, here is what I need to do differently compared to last time: