Horse & Rider Weekly #1: Diagonals

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Diagonals are one of the things beginner riders have trouble in the most. Often they forget to change their diagonals when they change reins, or start a rising trot from a sitting trot, and some have trouble in actually seeing what diagonal they are on.


You must have often heard during your lessons, your instructor can’t get over telling you “Change!” or “Diagonal check/change!” or “What are you supposed to do when you change reins?”. That’s your instructor referring to diagonals.

Diagonals are one of the most important things to take note of in your riding. Being on the correct diagonal means that when you are doing rising trot, when you sit in the saddle before rising again, the horse’s OUTSIDE shoulder should go back. When you sit, the OUTSIDE shoulder will come back. To be able to understand this further, let’s talk a bit about the trot itself; how the horse moves his leg etc…

The trot is a two-beat diagonal gait of the horse where the diagonal pairs of legs move forward at the same time with a moment of suspension between each beat. (Wikipedia)

Here you can see that the horse's right forefoot and left hind foot are forward simultaneously. In addition, the left forefoot and right hind foot are backward.
Here you can see that the horse’s right forefoot and left hind foot are forward simultaneously. In addition, the left forefoot and right hind foot are backward.

In the above picture, the right forefoot (which is forward) is to the outside. If there was a rider on this horse, and this shot was taken while the rider was standing (in the middle of rising) then he’d be on the correct diagonal. In addition, if the rider were sitting at the time of this shot, then he’d be on the wrong diagonal.

Okay, so I think you all are familiar with the concept of diagonals. But a lot of people (including me) sometimes have had trouble in checking what diagonal they are on. In addition, sometimes they forget to check/change their diagonals all together and this is a time when it is a real patience test for the instructors. Oh, and how to really change your diagonal? Double bounce. You’ll sit, then sit again instead of rising, then carry on rising. Seems difficult to understand but is really easy, in fact.

  1. I keep on forgetting to check/change my diagonal!
    From my experience, practice makes perfect. That also coincides with an instructor, who won’t get enough of constantly reminding you to check/change your diagonal. After a few times, your instructor won’t have to keep on reminding you that frequently, and after a few more times your instructor will have to casually remind you. After that, you’ll be checking/changing your diagonal on your own without any effort from your instructor.
  2. I have trouble in checking what diagonal I’m on.
    This is a bit of a tough question to answer from my experience because I really haven’t been through that. But from what I’ve read on the web here are some tips.
    * Try rising higher. Maybe you’ll be able to see the shoulders better if you rise higher.
    * Try placing a trotting pole on the ground and trot over that (while rising). The horse will raise it’s feet higher so you can see the shoulder better.
    * Ask your instructor for some tips.
  3. I did double bounce but am still on the wrong diagonal
    Actually that happens with me a lot, the answer is pretty simple. You triple bounced, meaning you sat 3 times so you are back on the wrong diagonal. Usually your instructor will call out if you did a triple bounce.

Also from my past experience, I’ve discovered that diagonals are much easier to maintain on a short horse, generally because they are less bouncy. Tall horses on the other hand are bouncy so often I keep on double bouncing without really meaning to do so.

So I think that’s all what I have to say about diagonals!

Here you go, my first Horse & Rider Weekly post 🙂 I might just publish a random post today as well… idk

If you enjoyed reading this article, please smash the like button!

With that, see you guys next post 🙂

My review on Windows 10

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So yesterday I downloaded the Windows 10 upgrade. As you guys probably know, it’s free to download for a year if you have a genuine copy of Windows XP/7/8.1. So I downloaded the upgrade yesterday and I noticed there isn’t much of a change. I’d say, it’s basically Windows 8.1 with the interface and a few other perks of Windows 7. That’s due to a huge outcry by Windows users after they upgraded to 8 and 8.1, which were Microsoft’s biggest failures ever. Windows 10 came, keeping the good features of 8.1, as well as bringing back the interface of Windows 7. Microsoft also declared that this would be the last Windows; updates would continue to come, but the name will stay Windows 10. So here are some features/apps that I chose to review.

  1. No more start screen!
    One of the biggest noticeable features of Windows 10 is the new start menu. The start screen is gone, yes gone, and is replaced with a start menu. Here’s what it looks like:
    Windows 10 new start menu
    It’s actually quite funny in my opinion. Basically what’s done here, is your Windows 8.1 start screen, made narrow and long. You get the idea. But now there’s only the desktop. NO MORE START SCREN!!!!
  2. Microsoft Edge browser
    Microsoft has discontinued Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer is a thing of the past. It’s replaced with Microsoft Edge. It’s better in speed than IE, but there are not much differences. Yes, it has a flatter UI, 2 new buttons, a few more features, and that’s it. Here’s what it looks like:
    Micorosft Edge browser
    Not much different than IE right?
  3. The window bar (on top of the window)
    On Windows 7/8.1 you’re probably familiar with 3 boxes in the top right hand corner for minimizing, maximizing, and close( Windows 8.1 ). Windows 10 has changed that too. Here’s what it looks like now: Windows 10
  4. The new Windows Store
    If you are a Windows 8/8.1 user you are already familiar with the new store, but if you are a Windows 7 user you are not at all familiar to this store. Basically this store is like Google’s Play Store or Apple’s iTunes store. You can download apps on your PC just like how you do on your phone. Many programs are now making apps for windows which are faster to download and made specifically for Windows 10, while the programs (.exe) are for, well, generally all versions of windows. Here’s what the store looks like:
    Screenshot (6)
 So those are the few features of Windows 10 that I decided to review. If you haven’t yet downloaded Windows 10 and you’re looking for some more info about it, PCMag has a great article about Windows 10 which can be found here.
So that’s it guys, see you next post 🙂

My story with snakes (PART 2)

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We were then gone to Cape Town for holidays. Before Cape Town, there were a couple of stops. That was our most grand vacation, and the last vacation till now. Anyways, we first stopped at Port Elizabeth, then Plettenberg Bay, then Cape Town.

Between Knysna (an area there, between PE and PB, known for it’s wine farms and breweries) and Plettenberg Bay, there was a snake park, Lynwood Snake Park. We planned that we would go there for the day, and spend our day there. We arrived there just in time; a snake show was about to start. You guessed it, we took part of it 😉 So the snake show started, and that was the first time I was ever so interested in snakes. He unfolded a lot of the myths and superstitions about snakes, and then told us that we can hold the snakes. At first, I was scared and I just said “no”. But after a lot of encouragement from them, I took it into my hand. Okay, in my mind, snakes were all slimy. I discovered after holding this snake, that they aren’t slimy. They’re dry, scaly. Not slimy. After that, I got more and more interested as he showed the different varieties of snakes, the different sizes, and explained the different temperaments. Then, he took a Burmese Python, which grows as big as 6 feet, and put that heavy creature in my neck. Me, my sister, and my father, all had it [i.e the snake] in their respective necks, only then did we manage to distribute the weight. Anyways, cutting it short, by the end of the snake show, we were no longer afraid of snakes, and we had learnt quite a lot of the myths and facts etc…

Then, in 2012, we thought we would get our own snake, and we ended up with a Ball Python baby; Sneaky was his name. (Our neighbours were the first to hold that snake, we were the second 😀 ) After that, we got another baby ball python, Lady. And that did it. Then we picked up lots of corn snakes, boas, burmese pythons, a lot more… by going to expos and websites such as Gumtree, Junkmail. Then, we started breeding them, and yeah! It ended to what we have today! In this process, we got many sick ones that died, sick ones that needed to be sent to hospital, and some losses. But yeah, it’s all called “school fees” in the reptile community.

So that’s my story with snakes complete 🙂

Hope you enjoyed!

P.S. I might do another blog post which will explain that vacation in detail, with all of our adventures, and also if I can find some pics, I’ll upload those as well! 🙂

My story with snakes (PART 1)

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Wow. I’m awesome. I never posted since February. A lot of things have been going on, changed, and yeah! I started cantering, I went on a massive outride with 20+ people, and, a whole lot of things. I won’t go on recapping all the stuff, I can literally go on forever.

So this post is going to be “my story with snakes”. As you can see, now I got quite a lot of snakes. And, I don’t know what, but there is something in snakes, that just freaks people out. Mainly superstitions. But what does a poor snake has to do with it? Why don’t you make a superstition about birds, horses, donkeys, etc etc…? Why only snakes?

Anyways, as I said a lot of people are afraid of snakes. We (my family) were also afraid of them. Then, I had an encounter with a Bush Snake. At that time, I really never knew a lot about snakes, neither did I know how to act if I saw one. Thankfully, that snake was (most probably) non-venomous, and it ran away when it saw me.

Here’s my encounter explained in detail:

We were gone to Durban, for what reason I can’t really remember, it was most probably a business trip we had just come along. So we were staying at a Bed & Breakfast, and we were in the dining room in the morning. After breakfast, me and my sister wandered out, outside our room. Now our room’s door was at the garden. So, we arrived outside our room, and I see this long, green snake, slithering on the patio of our room! I let out a screech on top of my lungs, and started to cry and run back. (We joked later on, that it was good news that snakes are deaf. Otherwise, that snake would have died right there 😀 ) I was ahead of my sister; she couldn’t see the snake. When I screeched, she thought I was playing a game, and she’s laughing! Then, when I started to run back, she only saw the tail of the snake slithering away. The lady who owned the place came with a broom, but the snake was gone and vanished into the bushes on the side. Here’s a picture of what the snake looked like (I got this pic from google, after I realised that what I called a ‘dangerous green snake’ was a Bush Snake):

On the wall of our room, there was a lizard, which was injured and bleeding heavily. We thought, that the snake was maybe trying to catch that lizard, but when I came running it got scared and ran away.

So anyways, after that encounter, the fear of snakes was even heavier on me. I got paranoid sometimes, that “what if a snake came into our house?” “What if I’m playing out and I see one?” But eventually, I got over that paranoid feeling. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t afraid of snakes.

That’s part 1 of my story with snakes so far 🙂
Part 2 coming up now 😉

P.S Hope you guys like my updated blog theme and stuff… Wanted to make it look more like a blog 😛