Happy New Year and also this month Kung Hei Fat Choi.
The Chinese calendar consists of a 12 year cycle with each year being represented by an animal. The Chinese year for 2014 is the horse, an animal that is obviously very close to our hearts.
Horses are an important motif in Chinese mythology. And the horse is ranked 7th in the twelve year cycle. One account for this is that the order of beings-of-the-year is based upon their order of com-pletion of a racing contest across a river, known as the Great Race. This race was used to determine which creatures, and in which order, would be the namesakes of the twelve year cycle.
The rat and ox crossed easily, with the rat hitching a ride on the ox’s back. The powerful swimmers such as the tiger and dragon had little problem crossing the river, as did the rabbit with a little help form the dragon. The horse was an excellent run-ner but not a very good swimmer and should have been next, but the snake having crossed the river by stowing on the horse’s hoof and then doing a sudden dismount, got to the finishing line just in front of the startled horse. Thus, despite the horse’s general swiftness, he only finished the race ranked in the 7th position.
The years can also be ranked by four different elements, earth, wind, fire and water and this year of the Horse has the element Wood. Wood sometimes translates as Tree and depicts growth and springtime.
So let us all hope for an end to the rain, and a good warm spring which will be perfect for hacking out in the park.
What’s On for 2014
We have a number of ideas planned for 2014 to celebrate the year of the horse.
All dates are to be confirmed at this stage but do please get in touch with us if you are inter-ested in any of the following.
February—a pizza and champagne evening
March—a visit to Dane Rawlin’s International Dressage Centre in West Sussex. Dane is a member of the Irish Dressage Team.
May—Royal Windsor Horse Show.
August—Staff visit to Hickstead.
Other things that we are planning include:
Lecture Demonstrations with Nicky
BHS 1, BHS 2 and BHS Riding and Road Safety Courses.
Visit to a racing yard on Lambourne.
Local summer pub rides on Friday evenings.
We were lucky enough to host a Pony Club workshop and lecture to the local Pony Club leaders on how to more effectively teach the C and C+ syllabus. The instructor was Terry Allen and it was a great opportunity to meet staff from other riding centers and talk to them about how they run their Pony Clubs. I would like to thank Elli, Alison and Chanel for being brilliant guinea pigs for us during the lecture and they really did an excellent job on the day. Our Pony Club instructor Melanie was at the lecture and the day has given her loads of great ideas for her group. So watch out Sunday Advanced group because Melanie has loads planned for you in preparation for your C test. The Sunday Intermediate group are currently studying for their mini road rider test and we will then start on the Sunday Novice group for the same test. Once these are completed we will be booking people in for their D/D+/C as appropriate.
Plans for 2014 include looking into the possibility of opening up some of our stable management lectures to other local Pony Clubs, especially on subjects such as loading into horse boxes, working, and shoeing and we will be asking our vet and farrier to come along and do some talks for us. We are also working out the logistics of running an over-night camp at the riding centre, which will not only get the clubbers their camping badge but will also allow them to gain first hand experience of how the yard operates first thing in the morning with the busy schedule of mucking out, feeding and checking over each horse.
‘Why the BHS1 course was important for Ella’
I have been riding at Kingston for over 7 years now. I started off with lessons and then when I was ready for more of a chal-lenge I moved into Pony Club.
Pony Club helped me to improve my jumping and gave me more confidence with my riding through the regular group lessons that are part of the Pony Club at Kingston.
I always enjoyed the stable management part of the Pony Club and decided that I wanted to spend more time with the horses so I completed the Helper’s Course which then allowed me to help out on the yard at the weekends.
More recently I have been sharing a horse called Benji and through sharing him, I realised that there was so much more that I could learn about horses and horse care. Rather than remain in the Pony Club, I wanted to study some-thing more advanced that could lead on to further qualifications.
So I chose to study with Kingston for my British Horse Society stage 1 exam. This has given me an opportunity to really challenge both my riding and my exist-ing horse and stable management knowledge in a supportive and struc-tured environment.
I was so proud of myself when I passed the exam and because is a professional qualification, it will look great on my CV when I start to apply for Universities soon
Please download the full pdf newsletter here: New Year Newsletter 2014