Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Unified Track Sectional Finals

     Yesterday was the Western Sectional Finals for Unified Track. It was put on by Special Olympics and, as usual, was a great, well run event. Travis's first event was his individual 400m race. I think he was feeling sort of relaxed and lazy. He ran, but he ran very slowly. I could almost keep up with him (still could not actually keep up with him, just close) and no one came to help encourage him to keep going. So I had to try to catch up and do that. But he did finish and his 5th place ribbon is orange, which is his favorite color. Maybe he did it on purpose. He told me he had fun, and that is what counts. He also looks really proud of his ribbon. 

     Travis's field event was the long jump. Each athlete had one running event, one field event and relays that they did. I think it was done that way to try to keep the length of the meet down. Travis seemed to be having a bit of a lazy jumping day as well, but he was definitely having a good time. 
     And his lazy jump got him second place and a chance to stand on the podium. 
      I was happy that he let us take a couple of selfies. I think Travis enjoys them too. 
      Travis's final event was a leg of the 4x400m relay. Which means that 4 athletes work as a team and each does a 400m (once all the way around the track) and then passes it to a team member. I asked one of the athletes that was not in that race if he could help me out motivating Travis like he did at the last meet. So when I got tired halfway through, Ron took over and ran (tried to run with) Travis and cheered him on. I cut across the field to catch him on the other side and encouraged him to keep going. Which he did and he passed the baton to Vicky. It was a pretty good race and the Ludlow team got 4th with the 4x400m relay. 
     The machines that do all the calculations were down so we don't know which schools won the overall first and second place in their division. We are still waiting on that information. First and second place get medals, which is always fun. We also won't know right away who has qualified for what at States, which is next Wednesday. Hopefully we know that soon.
     I have one sad but amazing story from the meet. During one of the legs of the 100m race one of our athletes was so far out in front that she was sure to get 1st. But then she fell before the finish (I missed that part, I only saw her flying down the track at the beginning and middle of the race). She did get up and kept running but the 100m is such a short race that there was no way for her to catch up and finish 1st. I don't know her actual placing. I do know that the boy from a different school, the one that came in first, went to her and gave her his blue ribbon. He said that she should have gotten it, she earned it and was so much faster than he was and should have come in first. I didn't get to witness that either but even second hand it was a bit tear inducing. What an amazing display or sportsmanship! He didn't do it for attention, he didn't do it to get the thanks and accolades that he got from many people, he did it because he truly believed that Lena deserved it and should have gotten it. Jenn, our coach, made sure to go to the officials who were giving out the awards, she told them what she saw the boy do, and made sure to get a blue ribbon for him. Helping each other, cheering for each other, even the other teams, and having fun is really what unified track is all about. I am so grateful to get to be a part of that amazing sport!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Medieval Madness Other Performance

    Today's topic is the Other Performance division. This division only had 4 classes but one of them was Scene and one of them was 4 square, which was a very loosely defined class for standing models. Which made it very interesting. 
    My 1st scene entry was the picnic at the horse show. Lilith got to show in this one. I know I can tweek it a bit so it's even better. 
     This time around I added a ton of little extra details. Like the fruit plate at the end of the table. Next time I will turn Lilith so she she looks like she is trying to eat the fruit. 
     I remembered to open the box of donuts, which does have donuts in it. And I put a tiny ipod on the table. 
     I think there might be more trash in the trash can, though I feel like I need to add more recyclables to the bin.
     New this time around was the drinks and snacks table. 
     I had so much fun putting this together. Lots of waters, sodas, other drinks (on ice) chips, candy and keto snacks. Maire had a good point when she said I need those. 
     The judge also thought the pony should be aimed towards the table. But scene is a tricky class. Sometimes this one does really well and sometimes it does somewhat less well. 

     My other scene entry was the motorcycle accident. I have the bike facing in the wrong direction (oops) so maybe it spun out, hard to say. Really, I goofed. 
     This time around the rider gets to wear a black leather jacket. The place I got it from only had brown last time. 
    I added some little plastic bags and snacks, some riding glasses...
    The "puddle" and the patch of sand is the same from the last time I set it up.
     I think this guy is crying. If I dumped a Harley I would probably cry too.
     I need to figure out how to make it look like the beer is spilled. And maybe turn the "puddle" into an oil patch. Something. We'll see. 
     The entry ended up in 3rd place. But I thought of some new things to do to it. 
    Next was natural trail and Lilith got 2nd in that. This was a mixed class, either English or western. I would have used the same doll, even if it was western. I figure, someone out for a trail ride can wear whatever they want, no matter what kind of tack they are in.

     The 3rd class in the Other performance division was Other Performance. Bring the Mayhem went in with this vaulting entry. The vaulting tack was also made by Jennifer Buxton. 
     That brings us to the last class of the division; 4 square. I decided to set up a therapeutic riding scene with my Lady Phase. 
    I had forgotten to make a new bit of documentation to go with this entry. So I wrote up this note card.
     And I put down a picture of Travis in therapeutic riding when he was little. I wish I had pictures of him mounting from the ramp, but I was never in the middle of the arena for that. 
     I tried to make everything in this scene accurate according to how we did things at the Pioneer Valley Therapeutic Riding Association. 

     There was always someone on the ramp to help the rider mount and always someone on the ground to help them get settled in the saddle and find their stirrups. 
    I just think this is a cute picture!

     We always had crates of toys, which were usually stored under the ramp to keep them out of the way. 
    I wish I could have thought of anything else to add to this scene. But I had a lot of fun putting it together. I will likely think of something new to add before the next time I set it up. 
     This morning we had MCAS and though I was not scheduled to proctor I ended up having to do it. The teacher I was working with was very nice, but she was correcting the entire time. So I ended up being the one that needed to watch the kids take the test. Because we literally are supposed to watch the kids test. So I ended up walking around and around the room, walking kids to the bathroom and trying to stay awake. I really hate state testing. But just one more day. I have nearly 15,000 steps and it's only 12:30. Sectionals are this afternoon so I am seeing a 20,000 step day easily. And at this rate, it's like I will go over that. Which is fine. One more day of testing tomorrow, though I may not have to proctor (it depends if anyone is out) and then back to normal. Except early release on Friday. Which means I will need to go to my very useless professional development. But for now I will focus on sectionals. If Travis scores well he will qualify for the state finals, which are next Wednesday. I hope I have some running left in me to keep him motivated during his 400m today!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Medieval Madness English

     The next division in Medieval Madness was the English performance division. I started it off with Bring the Mayhem in Jumper. I also started off with a ton of sticky wax issues. The wax was super soft and my horse kept spitting the bit. Grr. So Bring the Mayhem ended the class in 5th place. At least he looked good in my pink and black tack made by Jennifer Buxton. 
     Sweet but Pyscho was living the Zots life. She's wearing a brand new tack set also made by Jennifer Buxton. Halestorm's doll doesn't fit this saddle perfectly (I guess I need to make a new doll again...)
    For her second class ever Sweet but Psycho got second in Hunter. Zots are amazing. Ann Harris gave me the tip on those. They don't stick to sticky wax so I kept fighting my stuff for a portion of the day. Things will improve and I think I might switch everything to Zots. If nothing else, they are not slimy like sticky wax. I just need to keep working on getting the sticky wax residue off of everything.
     The next class was games and Bring the Mayhem went in with this Housewife Scurry entry. Third place is not bad for a class that was pretty full. 
     I was looking for more classes to put Lilith in so I stuck her in my gymkhana relay entry. 
      I actually made up this relay, made up and created the documentation, and all so I could use a large pile of candy. Since I spent so much time making a ton of candy. 
     The bucket is a bit large for this tiny doll. I may need to get a little dollhouse beach bucket.
     The setup of this relay allowed me to use the muck bucket and mounting block that I have had for awhile. 

     My Elecktra doll is actually petting Lilith's nose. 
      I love this pony!

     The browband didn't really work on this pony and the sticky wax was barely holding the bit in place. When you look at it that way, 4th place is almost amazing. 
     Here's a closer look at the browband on Lilith. Time for some surgery...

     So much better! I horrified some people when I posted that I cut up the browband on a Buxton bridle. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. (and Jennifer thinks it looks great)

       The next class was Arena trail. Sweet but Psycho got 4th...
    and Bring the Mayhem got second. This was a new piece of documentation. The last show I had issues finding anything in my documentation for a right lead canter. This seems to work. 
    The next up was English pleasure and Bring the Mayhem won the class. 
    Sweet but Psycho ended in 4th.
    Next was Other English and I put Bring the Mayhem in with a dressage entry. I do not have the documentation for the test I used for her, so I wrote down the portion of the test he was doing, put down the arena diagram I have and I had the part of the test he was performing up on my phone when the judge came by. I will have to print better, neater documentation for this entry. I think I also have to make a nicer dressage letter. I had a piece of index card that I wrote on with sharpie. I can do better. 

     Lilith went into Other English with this cute entry. The rider is delivering Easter candy to her friends.

My documentation
I made this originally right before Easter, so it made a lot of sense then. 

I wanted to have a somewhat different entry and I added as much detail as I could think of. 

    I think it ended up pretty fun, especially for something that was actually a fairly simple set-up. 
     The judge loved it! And the repaired bridle definitely helped with this. I may have some other little things to add to this entry when I set it up again. I have some miniature eggs I want to color and "hide" in a few places. I might add some color to the little sign. And the doll in the chair needs a drink or a snack I think. Maybe both. 
      The show was going well and I was having a good time. I heard that Stacylynn, the hostess, is planning another themed show in August. I can't wait to see the classlist and see what I can come up with for new showing ideas!