Could the Boeing 777X be the death of the Airbus A380?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in My Blog Posts

Background

Boeing and Airbus have been competing each other in the commercial aviation space since the 1980s. In fact, they are the only commercial aircraft manufacturers out there today.

The two companies may produce similar aircraft, but their philosophies couldn’t be any more different.

Airbus still believes in pushing the limits of how big an aircraft can be. The Airbus A380 “superjumbo” is proof of that. It is the largest passenger aircraft out there.

The problem with Airbus’ approach however is that most airlines cannot afford such huge aircraft. The Airbus A380 is a quad-engine behemoth that requires a lot of fuel to operate. Not to mention the double decker body, the 80 meter wingspan, all of which affect aerodynamics and, ultimately, fuel consumption.

As a result, Airbus is suffering with the A380. Sales are at an all time low and Airbus was considering stopping production altogether until Emirates came up with a $14bn deal that gave the company some breathing room.

Boeing’s philosophy, however, is different and seems to be more viable in this day and age.

You see, airlines are constantly on a mission to decrease operating costs and increase profits. Airbus thinks that the way to do this is by making bigger aircraft.

But Boeing thinks that the secret lies in making smaller, more efficient aircraft which can cover long ranges. Boeing wants airlines to move away from the typical hub system.

For example: you want to take a flight from Dubai to Cape Town. You are flying with Emirates, and you’re lucky enough to be flying in an Airbus A380. The issue, however, is that Cape Town airport cannot take an Airbus A380. So the Airbus A380 lands in Johannesburg, and from Johannesburg you hop on to a smaller aircraft that transports you to Cape Town. In this case, Johannesburg is the “hub”, where larger aircraft arrive and then passengers split off from there.

This approach not only is more tiring and time consuming for passengers, but it is also more expensive for airlines.

That is why Boeing wants to move away from this hub system. In Boeing’s perfect scenario, you would be seated in an aircraft such as the Boeing 777X at Dubai, which would fly you directly to Cape Town. Sure, the number of passengers on a plane would be lower than that on an A380. But on the long run, this approach turns out cheaper for airlines.

Boeing already demonstrated this philosophy with the 787 Dreamliner. And for the most part, it is turning out to be widely successful. The success of the 787 Dreamliner is an attestation to Boeing’s philosophy, and proof that it is the most applicable in this day and age.

The elephant in the room, however, is long haul flights. The 787 is more of a competitor to the Airbus A350 than the A380. And Boeing’s existing 777 lineup has been getting a little long in the tooth. Boeing needed to do something. And so it did.


The Boeing 777X

In 2013, Boeing announced two new versions of the 777 dedicated for long haul flights: The 777–8X and 777–9X.

And the response was simply insane, to say the least.

Right there and then, the 4 airline powerhouses placed orders. Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, and British Airways all placed orders immediately. Boeing themselves say that this is the most successful product launch they have ever had.

But all of these companies didn’t place orders just because all that cash was burning a hole in their pockets. They saw this aircraft as a machine that they could generate profits off of.

Boeing says that the 777X is the largest twin-engine jet out there, and that it is the future of flight unfolding. The “unfolding” part, at least to me, looks like a pun pointing to the foldable wing-tips of the aircraft.

The 777–8X has the longest range of any twin-engine aircraft, while the 777–9X is designed to carry more passengers and cargo.

Speaking of passengers, they will enjoy the same huge windows they have come to love on the 787 Dreamliner, as well as other technologies from the Dreamliner such as its electronic flight controls, air conditioning that doesn’t flow through the engines, and wider, more airy cabins.

The aircraft will be built of lightweight composite materials, improving aerodynamics and efficiency, similar to the 787 Dreamliner.

The flight deck gets some much needed love too, such as touchscreen displays as well as head-up displays such as those found on the 787 Dreamliner.

Due to the wingspan of the aircraft being longer, it is only natural to assume that airports will need to redesign their gates to accommodate the longer wingspan. But that is not true. Remember I mentioned the foldable wing-tips? Well, the aircraft’s wing-tips will fold up, so that the aircraft can fit in existing 777 bays. Pretty nifty if you ask me.

On its own, the 777X is a pretty impressive aircraft. But when you put it against this:

How exactly do the two aircraft compare, and how am I making the assumption that the 777X will be the death of this quad-engine monstrosity (monstrosity in a nice way)?

Well, for starters, there is economics.

An Emirates A380 configuration has a capacity of 489 across 3 classes. 399 of those are economy class, 14 are first class, and 76 are business class.

The Boeing 777–9X, according to Boeing’s specifications, has a total capacity of 400–425 across 2 classes. Suppose Emirates goes for the 425 seat configuration, with 10 seats for first class, 30 for business class, and 385 for economy. While there may be 64 passengers less, you must keep in mind that we are moving away from the traditional hub system. That means that instead of Emirates having to fly a separate plane from Johannesburg to Cape Town in our example, they can fly the plane directly from Dubai to Cape Town. This saves them a lot of costs in the first place.

Now let us come to the range. The A380 has a range of 15,200km, and the 777–9X has a range of 14,075km. The 777–9X is just 1,125km shy of the Airbus A380, which is quite an impressive feat considering that we are comparing a twin-engine aircraft with a quad-engine one. I am sure no flight out there would be hampered by the 1,125km of range that is short on the 777–9X, or that the 64 passengers less would affect Emirates in any significant way. Of course, the way I configured the seats on the 777–9X is only an estimate, but I think I have illustrated my point clearly. Airlines are saving a TON of money without compromising too much.

Then, there is the upfront cost of the aircraft. The Airbus A380 costs a whopping $445.6m, while the 777–9X costs $388.7m. The 777–9X is a full $56.9m cheaper than the A380, and when you factor in the other savings, it is quite a good deal of money saved for airlines.

Lastly, there is the future of the Airbus A380 (or lack thereof). Airbus is having major financial issues producing the A380 and are running in huge losses trying to sustain the project. The only airline that seems interested in the A380 for now is Emirates. Singapore airlines is considering ditching the A380, while other airlines are showing no signs of purchasing more.

I think this, along with the other points mentioned above, is enough to make me believe that the 777X will be the death of the A380.

But what do you think? What are your speculations and/or studies on this subject? I would be happy to hear them.

My journey to Linux

Posted Leave a commentPosted in My Blog Posts

For years, I have been a regular Windows us — who am I kidding? Let’s rephrase this as ‘I am a Windows user since birth.’

The first OS I ever used was Windows XP (which, on a side note, is precisely 11 months older than me,) followed by Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Needless to say, I have zero experience when it comes to macOS or Linux.

And to be honest, I never had even heard of Linux until 2014, when I was so fed up of Windows 8 that I Googled “free operating system”. The first line in the results was, you guessed it: Linux. I quickly Googled “Linux” and came to the website of TLF (The Linux Foundation). I was so naive back then that I thought that installing Linux was as simple as downloading a .exe and ticking a box that said wipe Windows 8. I never knew about distributions, or drive partitions, file systems, none of that. I never even knew what an ISO file is or how to open it.

So anyhow, with all of that in mind, I came to TLF’s website. And naturally, I was looking for a download button. When I found none, I looked around the website and there was a section which had a list of distributions. None of that made any sense to me obviously, so I closed TLF’s website, disappointed. “Oh shoot, I will have to stick with Windows 8” I thought to myself.

Fast forward to 2016. I was happy with Windows 10, finally glad to have gotten rid of Windows 8. I was learning computer programming, and naturally the word “Linux” was thrown around quite a lot. At that time I wasn’t interested; I wasn’t doing too advanced stuff in programming anyway.

It wasn’t until August of 2016 that I learned about how Linux works: as in that Linux is merely a kernel and there are distributions which combine different desktop interfaces and features with the kernel. Also, I finally learned that installing Linux is not as simple as downloading a .exe file, and I learned about Virtualbox (and virtualization in general).

At that time the only distribution that I was aware of was Ubuntu, so I downloaded the Ubuntu ISO file and made a Virtualbox VM just to play around and get the hang of things. Since I wasn’t really serious about Linux at that time, I installed it just to get a feel of it but didn’t find anything particularly interesting. In fact, I found Unity really confusing and cluttered, and I thought that all Linux distributions were the same. I also found the file structure rather confusing: why is there no C: drive? Again, as I wasn’t serious about Linux, I never bothered learning about it.

Then, I was quite a loyal user of Windows 10. At that point, I was really a fan (though not a complete fanboy) of Microsoft, and I really hated everyone who said that Linux is an alternative to Mac and Windows.

In short: I hated Linux. The programs that I used on a daily bases weren’t available, I found Unity confusing and cluttered, and I hated the cult-like Linux fans scattered over social media.

Fast forward to 2017. I was advancing in computer programming, and with every step I advanced, things got more and more difficult in Windows. This angered me to no end: I couldn’t understand why developers favored Unix and didn’t bother doing anything for Windows. I had daily discussions with my mother who was more advanced in programming than me. What she tried to explain was that “while things are possible in Windows, because you are a beginner you will be counter productive becuase you will be spending most of your time fixing things”. Despite her efforts, I was still defiant.

So now you have some background about me: a staunch Windows fan and Linux hater.

It wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I looked in the direction of Linux land for the first time in ages. What actually happened was that I was watching a coding tutorial on Youtube, and that guy happened to be using Arch Linux. I really liked the fluidity of the system and how fast and snappy everything was. For the first time, I was curious about a Linux distribution.

I still don’t know how it clicked to me, but on that same day I Googled “Arch Linux”. I opened the images tab and was certain that the OS in that video was indeed Arch Linux. I then went to Arch Linux’s official website and there was this tagline “A simple, lightweight distribution”. I was sold. I just really wanted to check out Arch Linux.

I downloaded the ISO and created a Virtual Machine. I was ready to do this. I had read all sorts of horror stories about how beginner users shouldn’t download Arch but should instead begin with Ubuntu and once they are familiar with Linux they should attempt Arch. But I refused. I hated Ubuntu. Besides, I love getting my hands muddy and learning things the hard way.

 

This sums up my first time installing Arch

The first attempt at installing Arch Linux was miserable. Thank goodness I was on a virtual machine. I screwed up so bad that I had to throw the virtual machine away and make a new one.

The second attempt was the moment of truth. I not only installed Arch Linux successfully, but I also installed GNOME successfully!

I didn’t stop there though. I made a third machine (because I didn’t know sudo pacman -Rcns was a thing) in which I installed KDE Plasma 5 instead of GNOME, removed KDE, installed XFCE, removed XFCE, installed GNOME again. Needless to say, I experimented the heck out of pacman.

I then created a final VM and allocated it 100GB storage and installed GNOME on it. In fact, I use the virtual machine alongside Windows with a dual-monitor setup daily, and I am using the Linux machine to type this out right now.

On this journey of installing Arch Linux, I learned a lot, and I repeat: A LOT, about Linux. Everything from partitions, to the ext4 filesystem, to sudo, you name it.

I learned mainly by trial and error, such as not installing base-devel and wondering why visudo wasn’t working. Also, the one time where before removing XFCE, I didn’t do a systemctl disable lxdm and then panicked when only the login manager was opening without a desktop environment. I finally learnt how to edit the GRUB config file and log into single user recovery mode to remove lxdm.

But the result after all of that was incredibly rewarding, and most importantly, fun.

There you have it: from a stauch Windows fan to a Winux (term combining Windows and Linux) user daily.

That does not make me an advanced user by any means. After installing Arch Linux 4 times, I have finally gotten to the stage where I can read and understand the Archwiki. And the more I use Linux daily, the more I like it, and the more I learn something new.

In fact, there is something I have to confess: I love some aspects of Linux more than Windows. What was that again about being a Windows fan? Hating Linux? Whatever.

The UI is just more consistent throughout the OS. I think this has more to do with GNOME than Linux or Arch Linux, but still. In Windows there are still some huge inconsistencies that affect daily use, such as having a separate settings app and control panel.

I really can’t complain about stability for either of the OS. Windows isn’t Vista anymore, and I haven’t had a single BSOD ever. It must be noted however, that I am running Linux on a virtual machine. As such, I cannot speak for stability installed as a standalone OS.

Linux still cannot replace Windows entirely for me. My work depends on Microsoft office and Adobe Creative Cloud. And FOSS enthusiasts, I know that open-source alternatives do exist.

So that is my journey towards Linux. It certainly has been an exciting one, and it has taught me a lot about Linux and how easy things are when programming. However, I am not finished. In fact, this is just the beginning.

I might write a sequel to this story sometime soon as I advance in the world of Linux. If I do, there will be a link right here.

Gaming weekly: Tips for surviving the Nether in Minecraft

Posted 1 CommentPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

The Nether is every Minecraftian’s nightmare. Only a few brave people venture to the Nether, and only a few survive. Below are some tips that I’ve gathered for going into the Nether:

  1. Keep obsidian and a flint & steel with you.
    That is in case a ghast damages your portal, you’re not trapped in the nether, FOREVER.
  2. Try and build a cobblestone house around your portal, as soon as you reach the nether.
    Again, ghasts. Ghasts are the nightmare of any Minecraft player.
  3. Try and stay as close to the portal as possible.
    That way, if you fall in a fight with a pigman, you can quickly hop back into the overworld. Venture far from your portal in the overworld to make the pigman forget you, then return back.
  4. Stay away from soul sand!!
    Soul sand is a block found in the nether. Nothing wrong with that, however when you try to walk on soul sand, you walk extremely slow. I must add that it doesn’t affect mobs.
  5. Keep your eyes on the floor.
    Because in the nether, it’s possible that there’s a 1 block hole in the ground, below which lies a huge pool of lava.
  6. Lava flows faster in the nether than in the overworld.
    Lava is actually quite sluggish in the overworld, but not in the nether! In the nether, lava moves at the speed that water moves at in the overworld. And you had better know, water is really fast in the overworld. So be careful out there.
  7. DO NOT ATTACK PIGMAN!!!
    These otherwise neutral mobs, when hit, they form a coalition and attack you all at once. Death guaranteed. Only pick up a fight with a pigman if you have a SMITE enchantment on a diamond sword, that way you can kill it faster. Or else, only attack a pigman if you’re lost and want to get back to spawn and have placed all your stuff in an Enderchest.
  8. Use the Nether as means of transportation.
    Have two houses in the overworld? Both of which are worlds apart from each other? Not to worry. One block travelled in the nether = eight blocks travelled in the overworld. You can back a Minecart system in the Nether from one portal to the other. You save far more time.
  9. Do not waste arrows on ghasts.
    The only easiest way to kill a ghast is by deflecting its own fire charges. Quick and easy with no resources on your part. Only use arrows if you have a very good aim, or simply have too many arrows to waste.

I think that’s all what I have to say! Quick and short post, just to keep the ball rolling. I’m going to upload a Horse & Rider Weekly this Friday, which I haven’t uploaded in ages so stay tuned for that as well!

Until then, see you guys next time 🙂

Horse & Rider Weekly #14: Dealing with horse changes

Posted 1 CommentPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Today’s post is actually going to start off as a message to all instructors out there before we get on to the rider’s point of view.
In the horse world, you’re going to come across a lot of instructors. And I’m saying this because it’s a fact of life: you will come across AT-LEAST 2 instructors. And like anything, each instructor has his/her own opinions and own styles of teaching. Now this also goes in conjunction with the student’s style of learning. So today’s topic will be about changing horses.
Many instructors believe that changing horses every lesson, or every other lesson, helps you to learn quicker and to gain more experience. Now again, this goes in conjunction with the student: sometimes the student really does learn better! Some instructors believe that sticking to one horse helps you learn quicker, and only once you reach a certain level of confidence should you be transferred to another horse, to broaden your experience. And many students feel that way too, me for example. It would be perfect if the two types of instructors and the two types of riders corresponded with each other, but the world is a broad place. I’ve been through both of the above types of instructors, and I prefer being with the latter, the one who believes in sticking to one horse. However, it was only recently that I got to stick to one horse: so I’m going to provide some tips below on how to cope with a horse change if you’re a rider like me, but before that, I’m going to put a message out there for all instructors first from a student’s perspective.

TALK. Talk to your students. Discuss what learning styles suit them, and also discuss what teaching style you prefer. Remember, in the teaching industry, it’s impossible to go by the book. You need to adapt as per the student’s style, what helps him/she learn faster and better. So talk and adapt yourself as per the student’s requirements.

Okay, now that we have addressed the instructors out there, time to get back to students with tips on how to cope with a horse change, if you’re a rider like me. These tips do seem to work for me, so I’m not sure if they’ll work for you or no.

  1. Relax!!
    As with anything in the horsey world, relaxation is key. Remember, the horse knows when you’re nervous and then he gets nervous. And when the horse gets nervous, all I can say is things won’t go well. Just relax, and watch the magic happen.
  2. Think to yourself: “what if this was the horse I am used to?”
    Just ask yourself the question and think it over. Start imagining that this is the horse you’re used to riding (in my case, that would be Jonty.) It doesn’t make a dramatic difference, but it does help. You know, something is better than nothing.
  3. Stop thinking!
    After relaxation, the most important thing is to stop thinking. Talking from experience, the more you think, the more you make things bad for yourself. Simply put, if you get thrown on a new horse which you haven’t seen in your life then STOP THINKING about it being a new horse, just go ahead and DO IT. Believe me, it works. However, one important thing to remember is that this goes in conjunction with relaxation. The two just have to work together: you can’t not relax but stop thinking then expect it to work, or vice versa.
  4. Ask others about the horse you’re given.
    If you’re taking lessons, then ask your instructor about the horse. Unfortunately, though, many people are shy to ask questions. And the reason for this? Simply put,  many instructors out there hate it when their students ask them so-called stupid questions. And I’ve also encountered instructors like that in the past: so here I am, putting yet another message out there for instructors:

    Teaching is all about questions. And simply put, if you cannot tolerate questions then simply give up on teaching. Put yourself in the student’s shoes and think.

    If you’re not taking lessons, then ask other riders at your yard. Whoever you ask, though, don’t be shy. And the reason you should ask is because each horse has his own perks. For example, in my case, Jonty doesn’t mind – sometimes he’s immune to the riding crop on his shoulder, but when you go behind your leg he bucks. Bibi, on the other hand, hates the riding crop altogether, irrespective of where. If I wouldn’t have asked my instructor where to use the crop on Bibi, things would’ve turned out much worse because I’d have hit him hard as I’m used to on Jonty, only to find myself running around and around because Bibi thought I hit him too hard: he took it as a cue for a canter or a gallop. So please, in the best interest of you and your horse, don’t be shy to ask!

So I think that’s all that I can say: writer’s block as always :/
If you have any other tips please leave them in the comments below!
With that, see you next time 🙂

Horse & Rider Weekly #13: Road safety with horses

Posted Leave a commentPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Today’s post will be addressing one of the most dangerous places a horse and rider can ever visit: the road. It’s a worldwide danger and many horse and human deaths have happened in the past due to reckless drivers just blowing them out. So I’ll start with a important message to all drivers first:

Be considerate of others on the road, be it cyclists, drivers, horse riders, anyone. Remember, horses have a fight or flight reaction and if any car approaches at speeds that would set the horse’s reaction off, the horse will try to fight, or will take flight. And when it takes flight, it runs into places that are very harmful, and can result in serious injury, or even death, not only to the horse, but the human with the horse. SO PLEASE, DRIVE LIKE A HUMAN BEING AND BE CONSIDERATE!!!!!!

If there’s one thing doing outrides in Linbro Park has taught me, it’s road safety. And I’ve been on the main roads of Linbro park, where the speed limit is 40-50 Km/h but drivers are flying at 80, 90, and even 100 Km/h. So, below are some tips to keep you and your horse safe from monsters on the road.

  1. Try to stay on the sidewalk, and if possible, stay deeper in the sidewalk, furthest from the road.
  2. Try to avoid going out on the road alone, always try to have a group of at least 4 people.
  3. AVOID BICYCLE AND/OR PEDESTRIAN LANES!! ALWAYS RIDE IN THE SIDEWALK.
  4. If there’s a need to cross the road, always try to do so at a stop sign or a traffic light. If you have to do it in the middle of the road, wait until there’s no car in sight. Don’t take the slightest chance by thinking “that car is far, I’ll make it” rather wait 15 minutes then putting your and your horse’s life at risk!
  5. If you’re in a group and a rider falls off in the middle of the road, the other group members should immediately:
    A: Block the traffic at least 10 meters on either side of the fallen rider.
    B: One member should stay by the rider and watch the horse, and should see if help is needed. If there’s an instructor in the group, let him/her take this post, since all instructors have first aid knowledge. A NOTE TO INSTRUCTORS: WHEN GOING ON OUTRIDES, ALWAYS CARRY A FIRST AID KIT WITH YOU!! If there’s no instructor in the group, then:
    BA: Immediately call emergency services.
    BB: If there are properties near you, try to get a grown up from there to help you out.
    C: If the rider is okay help him/her back to his/her feet, help them in mounting back on, make sure they are comfortable before resuming traffic flow.
    D: Don’t worry about drivers going crazy. A rider’s safety is more important; traffic can wait. If there are more members in a group, then let them explain a few of the drivers what the situation is, so they know they are stopped for a valid reason. Also, who knows? One of them could be a qualified medic / doctor and can assist!
  6. If you’re in a group and a rider’s horse spooks in the middle of the road, the other members should immediately:
    A: Block traffic at least 10 meters on either side from the spooking horse.
    B: The other members should assist in calming the horse down, even if it means having to dismount and handing your horse over to another rider. Remember, it’s the road, so a little bit of inconvenience goes a long way!
  7. Practice emergency dismounting before hand. Just in case. But please, in the best interest of you and your horse, keep emergency dismounting as the last resort.

I think that’s all what I have to say on this topic.

P.S THIS TOPIC IS A REALLY IMPORTANT TOPIC, SO IF THERE’S ANY OTHER TIPS FROM YOUR SIDE, PLEASE SHARE THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW! YOU COULD SAVE SOMEONE’S LIFE!

With that, see you all next time.

Wish list for future Minecraft versions

Posted Leave a commentPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Minecraft recently got updated to 1.10. I haven’t played it, but it adds some new mobs depending on the biome you’re in. Such as, * SPOILER ALERT * polar bears have been added to the colder regions. Desert biomes now have more “dangerous” zombies. But anyhow, I’ll write a Minecraft 1.10 review soon so we’ll cover all features in that, once I get a chance to play it myself :/

But anyway, what we WILL be covering today is what I would like to be added in future minecraft versions that would make the game more challenging and fun. So here goes:

  1. A thirst bar. In addition to the hunger bar, a thirst bar also affects your health, speed, strength. It would also be cool if getting dehydrated would also give you nausea or something like that.
  2. Biome-specific mobs. 1.10 has already started heading in that direction, but what I really would appreciate is, they would add more biomes, such as Africa, for example. Then, there would be specific mobs in Africa, in addition to the usual Minecraft mobs, for example, lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, etc…
  3. Fishes. Currently, fishes are “objects” rather than “entities”. It would be awesome if they added live fish in rivers and oceans. This feature could also be related to the above feature. Africa, for example, could have specific fishes in its rivers, likewise with other biomes. Y0u could also decorate your house with a fish-tank and some pretty fish!
  4. Birds. Currently the only thing that could classify as “bird” in Minecraft is a chicken. Besides that, who WOULDN’T love to have many birdies flying about in their world and listening to them chirping in harmony? You could perhaps even have a noisy parrot as a pet… Again, they could add specific birds to specific biomes.
  5. Snakes. It would certainly be more fun and challenging if you had to save yourself from snakes when venturing out in the Minecraftian world. Again, biome specific would be great. In Africa, for example, you had to encounter black & green mambas, cobras, stuff like that, while in America you had to encounter rattlesnakes, you know, cool stuff like that.

That’s just some of the stuff that would be great additions in Minecraft. The list goes on, but hey, if you’re a blogger yourself you can relate, things just never come to mind when writing. It’s so frustrating! But anyway, this post will be updated as soon as I have a few more ideas. But for now, that’s it.

Horse & Rider Weekly #12: How sitting still ACTUALLY helps

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Wow. Haven’t had the chance to write this in a long time, then lost interest. But then, some inspiration struck and I got over the writer’s block. Yay to that!

Anyhow, over the last couple of lessons I realized how much of importance sitting still is during riding. And I thought I’d share my experience here, as it would make a perfect Horse & Rider Weekly post.

So anyhow, for quite an age, whenever I tried to get Jonty to canter, he wouldn’t; only after a lifetime of kicking him half to death (ouch, don’t judge me, I was and am still learning), and finally he’d leap into a canter. I only learnt the reason for that in my last couple of lessons: I can never sit still. What exactly does that mean, you may ask. Well, I never stopped fidgeting with my reins, I never sat, yes, I actually never sat. I kept on rising, and my hands kept on giving the horse ten different cues at the same time. And the main focus of last week’s lesson WAS indeed to sit still. And I’ll share with you how tremendously it helped.

So the first step to sitting still and calm is: STOP GETTING NERVOUS!! And that’s exactly what happens with me. I don’t know why; sometimes I don’t even feel it, but the second my instructor says “okay, so the next round we’re gonna canter,” and I get nervous. I shorten my reins too much, tense up my body, and actually hold my breath in until we start cantering. I ease off a bit when we start cantering, but not completely. And that’s when Jonty gets nervous too; he has no idea what to expect from the rider. Jonty basically panics, and starts doing his own thing, which in turn panics me even more.

Fast forward fifteen minutes, and we’re still nowhere, just trying to sit still. So finally I managed to relax myself. And when that happens, everything just comes naturally. Basically, you just relax and think what you want to do next, and suddenly everything just comes in. I actually loosened my reins, sat, and stopped kicking Jonty half to death. And there we had it, a smooth, relaxed transition. And because I stayed relaxed, Jonty was relaxed and everything went well.

That’s how sitting still helps tremendously. From fifteen minutes of flapping around on the saddle, kicking Jonty half to death, and nearly ripping his mouth apart, to a smooth, relaxed, and enjoyable ride. So there you have it, do the right thing. Just relax. Relax, and everything comes naturally.

Short post :/

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if anything else helps you achieve what you want when riding. Also let me know what should I write about next!

With that, see you all next time!

Byeeeee 🙂

Horse & Rider Weekly #11: Dealing with nervousness when riding

Posted Leave a commentPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Nervous horse, nervous rider. Well, that is the case 8 times out of 10. And the reasons are either 1) the nervous horse made the rider nervous, and 2) the nervous rider made the horse nervous. And we’ll be going over both of the types of nervousness today.

So we’ll start with nervous horses. The key to be able to control a nervous horse without it freaking the living daylights out of you, is to determine what is making it nervous in the first place. If it is you who the horse is nervous of, the horse will typically shy away when he sees you, will get uncomfortable if you’re hanging around by his stable, will give you a hard time in tacking him up, the list goes on. If that is indeed the case, then you first need to acquaint your horse with you. You’ll need to spend a lot of time with your horse, do small but rewarding riding sessions, give him treats, and maybe for a few days in a row if it’s possible give the horse his meals yourself. When riding, avoid shouting him, or punishing him if he does something unwanted, and reward him often. Eventually the horse will get to know you and will start bonding with you. You must have heard these terms in the horse world often: #thebond or “It’s all about the bond” or stuff that says bond a lot. 

Bonding with your horse is much, MUCH easier said then done. It takes time, dedication, patience, and even then it needs regular tuning and servicing to keep it in shape. So in a nutshell, if your horse is nervous of you, then start building a stronger bond with your horse.

But if your horse is nervous of other things (such as a crop for example; one horse that I rode called Bibi, the minute he saw a riding crop he’d freak out), it’s more or less the same procedure, acquaint your horse with that specific thing. However, in the scenario of a old horse afraid of, say a riding crop, then sometimes the best option is to just live around it. An old horse is much, MUCH harder to familiarize with something compared to a young horse. If you have a horse who has spent his entire young life being beaten by a crop, he’ll be afraid of it in his old life, and the past would take the better of him. And because he’s old, his capability of “learning new things” had decreased. So depending on the horse and situation, you have to make the decision, whether to work on it, or just live around it.

As far as nervous riders go, as I said above, half of the time you’re nervous because your horse is nervous. But sometimes you can be nervous for some other reason. Me for example, I’m still nervous, despite riding for 1 and a half year continually, because I have a really bad past with horses. I don’t wanna go over history again, but the past still holds me. Although I am far less nervous then when I started in 2014 (more details here) I still am nervous. So I’m also on a journey to being confident, I have some tips that seem to be working for me.

  1. Leave your past behind you. Easier said than done, if you have a bad past with horses, it will keep on bugging you. Shrug it off and focus on what’s happening now.
  2. Don’t think about what others have to say about your riding. Let them be. Again, in a society like ours, where everybody is concerned about “what will others think about me” and where everybody is name-calling everyone and passing remarks about everyone, it’s much easier said than done. But it is important in being confident and less nervous.
  3. Just relax. Breathe in, breathe out. Spend time with your horse. Make you and your horse familiar with each other.
  4. Ask your instructor and/or any other qualified personnel for tips.

Thanks for reading you guys! If you have any other tips that seem to work for you please leave a comment below 🙂

With that, see you guys next post 🙂

Gaming Weekly: Review on Minecraft 1.9

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

There have been 2 things that have been feeding the hype from Mojang’s side of things over the past 3 months. 1) Minecraft 1.9, and, 2) Minecraft Story mode episode 5. That being said, Minecraft 1.9 came out earlier this month, with Minecraft Story Mode episode 5 set to release on the 29th of this month. More on that later, we’ll focus on Minecraft 1.9 for today.

Minecraft 1.9 is called “The combat update”. It really has a bunch of combat improvements with a bunch of usual Mojang perks. The biggest feature that’s pissed off a bunch of people is that there is a cooldown delay in between attacks. That means no more spam clicking! Yes, the delay is not ridiculous, I think it’s roughly somewhere around half a second. That being said, you can spam click if you still like it, however the damage done will be less than usual. Like yesterday I was fighting a zombie and I was spam clicking, it took LITERALLY FOREVER to kill that zombie. The reason that many people have been set aback is due to the PVP factor. I personally feel that this feature is great, because now you have to strategically plan and time your attacks, instead of just plainly click-click, collect loot, move on. What people don’t understand is that this feature will also add some flavour to their PVP matches. You will have to dodge, plan, attack, dodge again, it seriously will be more fun. Alas, people don’t understand.

So here are some major features of  1.9 that I decided to review:

  • Mobs’ health points have been increased.
    This feature adds some flavour to survival and hardcore modes. Certain mobs had their health points increased. This feature works hand-in-hand with the cooldown feature; you really have to time, plan, pounce, crit in the head for maximum results.
  • Mobs can see you through blocks.
    Unlike before, mobs can now see you through blocks and will prepare to attack. The moment you’re visible, they’ll attack.
  • Swords can no longer be used to block
    I personally like this feature. They have made it more realistic; you have to use shields now to block.
  • Creepers are easy on players now.
    Previously, creepers would come into your face and blow up. Now, creepers stop 2-4 blocks away and then explode. They have kept it in such a way now that when creepers explode, they don’t kill you, but leave you with around 2 hearts, so you can continue on with life.
  • Witches are more dangerous and have sounds now.
    Witches now throw potions at a much faster rate, drink healing potions at a faster rate, and make those creepy witch laugh sounds now. Overall, you wouldn’t want to encounter a witch after 1.9.
  • The Enderdragon can now be summoned – up to 25 times per world!
    That is simple. You go to the end, kill the dragon, win the egg. You thought it was an epic battle but you want to fight it again legitimately. Well, now you can! You have to craft 4 ender crystals (I’m not really sure how to myself, Minecraft Wiki to the rescue) and place them around the exit portal (1 at each side). The first thing that will happen is that the exit portal closes. Then, all the ender crystals on the pillars reset, and the ender dragon appears again. You can do that for up to 25 times per world. However, the new dragon will not give you as much xp as the original one, and will not give you another egg. I personally like this feature.
  • Enderdragon head is now wearable.
    I’m not really sure how to obtain it in the first place, somehow you get it and wear it.

So yeah, overall, survival and hardcore modes have been beefed up quite nicely. I personally like this new update! I am currently playing survival 1.9 so let’s see how far I go before I end up being eaten for dinner 😀

There are A TON of more features to 1.9, here is the complete feature list.

With that, see you guys next post!

 

Horse & Rider Weekly #10: Dealing with grumpy horses

Posted Leave a commentPosted in My Blog Posts, Uncategorized

Grumpy horses. You’ll come across a lot of them throughout your life in the horse world. As for me, I currently am riding one; Jonty. He’s grumpy, stubborn, sweet, everything at the same time so he’s quite a weird mixture. At any rate, Jonty refuses to walk without a horse ahead of him; he’s more of a follower mentality. He kicks, so you can’t have a horse ride behind of him. AND, he’s grumpy.

Grumpy horses can get quite irritating to ride. The golden law to remember is:

“No matter what kind of horse you’re riding, the first 5 minutes of your ride judge the rest of your ride. If you show your horse in the first 5 minutes who’s boss, you’ll be pretty much okay in the rest of your ride.”

That is vital to remember when you’re riding a grumpy horse. “But,” you may be asking “What exactly is the definition of a grumpy horse?” Well…

“A grumpy horse is that horse, who basically wants to be the boss over the rider and wants to follow his/her own will instead of following the rider’s demands.”

That’s why, you have to be strict the first 5 minutes. As for Jonty, he always tries to get off the circle, trot when you want him to canter, walk when you want him to trot, the list goes on. So, BE STRICT. Remember, a horse judges you by your intelligence unlike a dog, who judges you by your size. If you do foolish stuff on a horse, the horse will think he/she is dominant over you. And that’s when things start to go badly wrong. So, be strict with your horse the first 5 minutes (in some cases it’s even more, don’t stick to five minutes.You have to be strict the entire ride but typically after 5 minutes it starts getting easier) so that he knows that this is not a children’s playground and I have to behave.

Now we’ll go over some key troubles that grumpy horses give and how to overcome them.

  1. My horse get’s very lazy and seems to be immune to my legs
    First, squeeze him, gently. If he ignores, squeeze him harder. If he still ignores, small kick. Still ignoring? Wow, your horse has quite an attitude. Anyhow, kick him HARD with a tap on the shoulder. By now, if he doesn’t move you need to prove him wrong in thinking he can do whatever he wishes. Kick hard with a hard tap on the shoulder, and your last resort should be a smack on the bottom. Jonty bucks if you smack him on his bottom so that’s not an option for me. If he still ignores you, ask someone who’s in the arena to throw some mud at him. He has to go. Still ignoring? Huh, make sure your horse isn’t sleeping.
  2. My horse doesn’t do what I want him to do.
    That’s a common thing with Jonty. He won’t go over a small jump, he’ll try to take it in his stride and that often results in him tripping over. The answer to that is simple. Be hard and bossy. If you’re approaching a jump that he won’t jump, squeeze and/or kick the living daylights out of him.
  3. Ask your instructor or any other qualified personnel for tips
    As always. These tips that I’m sharing are from my experience and from what I’ve read on the web. I cannot guarantee that they’ll work for you!

I hope my post makes sense as I really was just writing whatever came in my head lol.

Thanks for reading and see you guys next time 🙂