Friday, December 16, 2005

Day 227

[reading: Tom Phillips, "A Humument"]

Just completed my first week with a full five days of work for a long time (er, 227 days I guess) and I'm very tired as a result. Obviously, I'm not expecting to get any sympathy :-), but it's interesting how quickly you get used to a life of leisure. It's not even like I've done the same number of hours as I did at my last job—that was minimum 45 hours a week, and I've probably only done around 35 this week.

Anyway, we went out to see some show-jumping this evening, which culminated in a puissance. I'd not encountered one of these before, but the basic idea is high-jumping for horses. Each round, they raise the main wall a little bit and anyone who fails to clear it is out of the competition. For this particular puissance, two riders shared first place by successfully jumping a 7'3" wall. That's a long way up. Even the riders could barely see over the wall, and they were sitting on horses.

Show-jumping is also interersting as it's almost unique as a sport that has an even playing field: men compete against women; over-fifties compete against under-twenties; rich folk compete against, er, other rich folk. I can't think of many other sports where that happens. Sailing and motor-racing, I guess—sports where the motive force is provided by something other than human muscles.

1 comment:

Henri-V said...

I hope you had a rest-filled weekend, then! Yes, I remember hearing that about equestrian events during the summer Olympics -- that men and women compete on equal footing for show-jumping, dresssage, and eventing. I rode when I was younger but did not think much about the lack of gender and age categories in upper-level competition. (Mostly because all I ever saw were snotty girls between the ages of 10 and 20.) It is definitely a rich vs. the rich sport, and on that level I could not compete.