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Vasant Valley          4



It is often treated by   parents as suitable time pass for children with little else to do, but few actually continue  to pursue equestrian sport at a later stage in life. Consumed by school, other more  common sports and the opposite sex children usually stop the joyful art horseback riding  soon after they turn 12. However few will forget the diet of adrenaline that all young  riders live on while crossing a jumping fence. This sport is extraordinary because you  are dealing with another living being and cannot be experienced till an understanding is  built between horse and rider.

This sport combines the passion for animals,  the physical exhilaration of riding and competing.

Once the art of horse back riding has been  mastered there are many specialized options one can go into. Polo, racing, dressage and   jumping. For all forms of equestrian sport a certain amount of physical and mental preparation  is required. A rider must be sensitive, to be able to understand any horse as well as  mentally aware of his surroundings. Polo is a team sport played with sticks and balls in a  field with goalposts. Racing is done on a track and this form is heavily dependent on the  quality of the horse. Dressage is a boring form of equestrian sport which is performed in  a marked arena in which it is required to perform a sequence of movements on a horse.  Jumping is one of the most enjoyable forms of riding in which a variety of challenging  jumping fences are put before horse and rider. Together horse rider meet the challenge and  triumph. During competition a set of jumps are required to be cleared. There are  penalties for jumps that are dropped and refused. In some events a set course is given and in  others a course can be devised. An understanding of rhythm and pace must be developed by  the rider.

The physical fitness of the rider is important,  he but be supple but strong. Riding can also be used to rehabilitate handicapped people   by realigning the spine . Riding helps develop good posture, strong abdominal and leg  muscles.

The danger that comes along with horse riding  is part of the thrill. It is common sight to see a rider on the ground, falling off is part of  the fun. Eventually when the rider starts moving with the horse falling off becomes more  rare an event. The rider must sit in the saddle and not on the saddle to make the  difference between sitting on the horse and on the ground. A rider who is tense will make the  horse tense because a horse can sense the feelings of the rider.

To keep a horse calm, the rider must be calm.  The rider has to be aware of what is happening around him to know how to handle the horse when   the horse reacts to sounds and sights. One not only has to deal with ones own fears but  as well as the horses fears.

In horse show there are team jumping events as   well. Sometimes competitors start get carried away and try to cheat.

They try to use methods such as placing bottle  caps under the bandages on the legs of horse to make sure that they clear jumps without   knocking them. This takes way from the true spirit of riding. While mounted it is required to  wear a riding hat and riding boots. The responsibility of owning a horses another story.  It is necessary to be aware of the possible horse ailments and one must be prepared to  spend a lot of time with the horse no matter what kind of help you have .Only a person  passionate about horse should get involved in such an arrangement. Horse riding also helps  you learn how to deal with people who do not express themselves through words. This kind  of sport like any other also requires a great amount of patience. It takes time before you  stop bouncing around on the horde back an really come into the horse. Ultimately, it is  sport for the passionate, daring and dedicated.

Shonan Trehan



At the heart of Propaganda

Yesterday when I opened my mail an innocuously titled mail,  "Pakistani Jokes" stared me in the face. It was nothing short of a hate campaign. I   promptly forwarded it to 2 other prominent members of the Editorial Board. There can be three  possible interpretations of this act. A skeptic’s view: I was   perpetrating and enhancing this Propaganda. A moderate’s view – I was looking for other  people’s view. An intelligent Indian’s view – I was checking out the email  functions.

Everyday of our lives, we come across propaganda in some form or  the other. I don’t have to eavesdrop too hard on a bunch of  "serious" girls to catch the phrase " She’s a bitch". Such is the nature of  propaganda, especially in these modern times is that we cannot take it, nor can we leave it.  My action of forwarding the message can thus be justified to some extent.

Does propaganda have its roots in the human heart? Heart or no  heart, it is very disheartening to me at least. Propaganda is ingrained in our lives  in a very sinister way. We make it, we live on it and we live with it. It is not very  uncommon for students to rise up in arms against a teacher when they are in two minds or   rather 3 when there are only 2 possibilities to a problem and the teacher proclaims four?  Some students of my class may be well acquainted with this phenomenon!!!

Are there any good aspects to Propaganda? Not unless you are a  Hitler worshipper. If there was anything remotely good about it, it wouldn’t be given  this name.

Well, I hope what I am writing won’t be construed as   "Propaganda"!!!!

Saionton Basu


Editorial Board: Aatish Bhatia, Sharad  Bajaj, Saionton Basu, Priya Malik, Pallavi Raghavan. Shruti Sharma, Deivyani Dheer,  Maalini Kochhar, Aman Raj Khanna, Shonan Trehan, Shivan Marya and Prayaag Akbar (Editor)

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