Yesterday I attended the Winter Para Dressage Championships in Nottinghamshire, with other members of the University of Nottingham Riding Club. I had not attended a horse show before, so I had been excited for weeks! Thankfully, the weather was not so bad, and the road trip was pleasant. It’s always nice in the Nottingham countryside! When I see all this green and bushes, I wish I had a horse and keep riding and riding accross that beautiful scenery, for many, many hours.
So, we arrived at View Valley in time for the show. We found out that this was the third and last day of the championships, which consisted of 26 (or so) warm up classes. We watched the first session, then we spent some time at the equestrian shop (first time ever in an equestrian shop as well) and wandered around the equestrian centre, watching athletes warming up. Some of them did not suffer from anything visible, but others were in wheelchairs, had prosthetic body parts, or suffered from dwarfism. There was a lot to see around, as the centre has got two indoor and two outdoor arenas, all in use. We also visited the cafe area, where I had the chance to read some Horse&Hound issues.
Although I hated the background music (the same track was playing all the time), I enjoyed watching all those disabled people, shiny like any other dressage rider, taming mares and stallions. What triggered my attention was the fact that each of them was holding two dressage whips, of which they were using only one. This is something I could not understand. Because, if holding and controlling the reigns is a challenge, how helpful is it to have both your hands busy with huge dressage whips, plus the reigns?
Anyways, this was a nice experience and I hope to attend more such shows in the future!
Here are some pics: