One Wheelchair, No Fridge. Lions en route.

Another 16kms today, 25 in total and I have only managed to make 5kms progress from Exmouth to Plymouth,IMG_20150604_145418711_HDR but I am relearning the joys of travel. If this trip was about efficiency, it wouldn’t happen. If you want to be efficient, don’t use a wheelchair, don’t use a pony. Get a helicopter. This stage of #OWNF was spent ambling around Exmouth, starting, God knows why, on Lympstone Common, looping back to Phear Park to reconnect with the last session, and then on to Lympstone, down to the shoreline, across the mud and shingle, on as far as Nutwell Park and then back to Lympstone Common. On the long climb I realised that Obama was hauling 200kg+ (me at 110kg, wheelchair 10kg and 75kg of iBex Saddlechariot) and was not only relaxed, but moving forward easily and willingly.IMG_20150604_162338415 Ponies enthusiasm for new horizons is massive. Plodding around the same old route, day in day out, depresses them for two, apparently contradictory, reasons. Firstly there is boredom. That is obvious, then there is the problem of going the same route, day after day. And this naturally scares them. We assume that because something was safe yesterday, it will be safe today, and assume that horses and ponies are being naughty, or “napping”.IMG_20150604_163121342_HDR Here is “Horse Advice”  on the subject. A nappy horse is one that will not move freely forwards in the direction that you require. Once he has stopped at a given point he may run backwards, spin round or even rear. There may be a genuine reason for the problem of napping, or the horse or pony may simply be disodedient and “trying it on” Danger – Your horse or pony may have scented real danger ahead and stopping is his way of preserving his safety – and yours! The horse has scented real danger, but it is a danger which equestrian types don’t recognise. To a prey species, the risk is the hunter, and real hunters don’t stalk, they lie in wait.IMG_20150604_180037857 Therefore, any route that is regularly used becomes more dangerous, more threatening, with every day it is used. Any lion that hangs around Lympstone Common hoping to catch Obama is going to die of starvation, but any lion hanging around down by the Quay in Exeter, or Cowick Street or Alphinton Road has a pretty good chance of catching him as Obama visits at least once a week and frequently more. Exmouth to Plymouth is all new territory. So Obama is bright as a button and forward going. I don’t need whips or spurs or oats or complicated training systems, I just need to boldly go. IMG_20150604_180527908Splitting infinitives cures “napping”. I discuss the training issues here and here

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About saddlechariot

Revolutionary, believes everyone can enjoy ponies, and nobody needs a whip to do so.
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