It’s fairly unbelievable that we are already into September, but so much has happened lately that the time has just flown.As well as the launch of the website a few weeks ago, there are ongoing changes and fixes all the time (the icons now link to where they are supposed to go – yay!! Everyone has been very complimentary so many thanks.

Professor A. Pony is now up and running, and attracting a lot of interest and Professor Pony would like to say thanks for all the kind messages . If you like Professor Pony, then please share him on facebook or by email (links available on his Dear Abby page).His web pages are proving very popular and, if you want a light-hearted read, his eBook From the Other Side of the Saddle has just been uploaded to Amazon (more details on the eBook page). He has also introduced a puzzle page, which will gradually have more puzzles – test out your ‘pony-logic’ skills with the first puzzle.

I have a real appreciation of people who are just starting to learn to ride from scratch – we forget how much there is to learn. It has been a while since I began learning a completely unfamiliar topic from the beginning, but starting this website has been a reminder of the learning process. You can go online and find ‘beginners guides’ to making your own website, with promises of having a website up and running in an hour or two. These claims are 100% true! However, it is a bit like claiming that you can sit on and ride a horse within an hour or two; again the concept is perfectly true, but the reality is that there is a lot lot more that you need to know that how to make the horse walk on and halt.

I don’t really remember the moments where I learnt about things like fetlocks, leading legs, half-halts and bogspavins. But I can clearly remember learning about widgets, rss feeds , plug-ins, and so on (still working on ‘rich text snippets’). When it comes down to it, every new skill that we want to learn seems to have its own language, even if the words sound normal. For instance, I thought plug-in was something you did with the vacuum cleaner; but then a half-halt isn’t actually half a halt and a fetlock isn’t any kind of lock, so I suppose every discipline has its odd terms.

Then of course, once you have learnt the peculiarities of what the language means, you then have to learn how to use it – who would have thought that you would have to use negative em to change the paragraph spacing! Don’t know what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, I have to keep emailing the ‘help’ desk and asking for more basic instructions (the ‘please write instructions for dummies’ still results in materail above my head in places). It makes me wonder just how much new riders understand when their instructor tells them to do something. It might SEEM obvious to the person saying it, but perhaps we become too familiar with terms that don’t really mean what they sound like?

Anyway, on to more interesting news:

  • Congratulations to Mairi and Irish, who achieved 96.6% in their very first Preliminary dressage test (for both of them). Irish started his schooling with Carol and I and has now been sold to Mairi, who is thoroughly enjoying his great personality (most of the time!), and they are both off to University this month, so we wish them all the best for their future studies.
  • Congratulations too to Eleanor, who very nearly got her Pony Club AH test with honours. Still waiting to hear the nitty gritty, but she worked hard to learn all the theory behind the practical bits (including those weird and unmemorable Latin names for body parts!).

I hope those lucky enough to go to the World Equestrian Games thorougly enjoyed it. Prof. Pony is glad to see that some of it is on proper TV, as there isn’t Sky at his stable. It does seem very strange though that in this day and age para-sport is regarded as second class and doesn’t get the same tv coverage. We noticed the same for the Olympics (summer and winter). Perhaps it is time to mainstream the classes and put the competitions on at the same time rather than having them in a chunk before or after the games? Why aren’t magazines like Horse and Hound campaigning for this?

That’s all for now,
Happy horsey dreams

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