Wednesday, 24 February 2010

next in line to john whitaker?

Today,am twenty six years old [birthday].
was supposed to be going blackpool straight after riding but that was changed because a staff left without notice last week who was due in today,and needed two staff to go with self,so there was no one extra able to cover at home for the lads today.
they were able to get in a staff that sometimes works with self as driver,from another of their homes,and also went with same other lady that go with-the usual starbucks first then riding.

got on jasmine.
was using the same bareback pad,and no stirrups [not ready for changing to the adapted stuff yet].
for the first time ever,they put up some large blocks for making jumps with,and RI also took lead rein off but stood in same place,so was controlling Jasmine a bit more,also had the usual nice helper on one side [stupidly can never remember her name],and the yard owners daughter had come out to be on the other,Jasmine coudnt wait to get on and started cantering [another first for self and probably Jasmine],straight up and over them.
Own balance was perfect,being a stirrupless,almost bareback rider helps so much in that way and woud recommend it to anyone with the
ability to.

And if the awesome lesson wasnt enough,was given a trophy at the end of it by RI,M/Nook is an awesome RDA riding school [have said this many times before but currently trying to build up support to get as much funding as possible for a much needed indoor school], its both the best RDA have ever been to,and the best riding school overall.
YOs daughter said to bring her the camcorder next time and she'll film the jumping,so watch this space!

if get very good at this,woud like to do small novice jump shows for RDA,but think it woud be impossible due to sound levels.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Chicken meltdowns

A few changes and problems to chickin mannor.
had had an 'incident' the other day in own shower/semi wet room,which led to wrecking of the shower curtain.
It was left outside to be taken away,but had thought of an idea which involved the ladies of the mannor in the garden.
They already have a type of cotton..netting thing spread across the top of the fencing because they jump over it without the netting,but had thought,why not use the shower curtain as extra roofing for them,which has worked-kind of [check pics].

And the problem....there was a meal worm shortage today at the chickin mannor,and the girls were kicking off.
Staff saved the day by cooking their next favourite fud-peas,and they already had a full tube of pellets,plus they wont be going on ensures for being underweight anytime soon [sorry henny,penny and ethel]!.

why its hard to get a space in supermarket disabled parking

Today am able to reveal why there is a shortage of disabled bays in supermarket parking,don't listen to those [anti everything for disabled people if it uses public funding] pillocks who wrote that recent daily mail online/in newspaper[?] story about there being too many disabled bays taking over innocent normies' spaces [the whole thing had more shit in it than dads garden].


Today,was at sainsburys by proxy for a few bits-pullups,big pack of chewing gum,packs of redbull [staff sneakily picked up the sugar free one probably thinking woudnt notice the difference between navy and light blue],a mocha x caramel frapachino from the starbucks part,and wanted to get presents for the staff to as like them alot-a chicken and mushroom pie for one,and chocolate for other.

thats the shopping list out of the way, before staff had even stepped into sainsburys,pulling into the packed disabled bay section [one bay left out of a long line],it also happened to be next to a modern farmerish type car with hand controls.
And there,sat in infront of controls and wheel,was a little goggie,had taken some photos of him [click picture to make it bigger]:

So,there it is,no longer is our parking the playground of the daily mails 'innocent normies' without blue badges,it is being taken over by goggies,obviously using hand controls because they cant reach the peddles.
Goggies do not have pockets so this limits them in actually going in to pay for their eukanuba,they likely have a human slave to do that for them.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Freedom with pullups

Have been after pullups for a long while now to get a bit more QoL,but due to having difficult toileting issues,neither previously recognised or understood at the time including by self to a level,they thought in last service that incontinence was the only weeing problem.
For self,it is sensory related,am not able to feel the need to go toilet until it's really forcing its way and if do not get to toilet in time 'it' doesn't mind as it'll make its own way out.

Have been with this residential service since start of december now,
and thanks to their understanding, had been given some freedom -they simply just make sure have got the pullups,and have proved wrong the old stereotypes that had been said about using pullups/pads by last service,it has given freedom,removed the thinking about accidentally wetting self/the clothes/anything sat on,still going to own toilet and using it-the pullups have done nothing but give more strength in knowing if something does happen-it happens,but now its just not 'happening' all over self.

Tits,fannies and offending people

if are offended by words easily,please avoid this post as may get offended by it [if havent from the title already-nothing gets worser].



it's obvious,people use different words for different things,Autistic and/or LD/ID people may use certain words that others dont because of the difficulties around their impairment they have,often this may be attempted to be wiped out by SALTs,tutors,support staff and family because they think it's for offending-without going into it far enough why such words are used and not those more common with others.

In own case,as the title says-tits, and fannies [meaning the UK version not american] are some of own word useage-besides crotch,they are the words am able to fully understand for those parts,the words that others use are of no use to self no matter how many times they have been explained and repeated,like pronouns in a way they are an overload.

Support staff [ex and non ex] call theirs even more confusing words or words that are nothing to do with what they are replacing as they say they do not like mentioning it,eg-'flower','lady garden', 'tuppence'...
am only able to think of the staff who uses the word 'flower' for 'fanny' as a flower now-so she now has a flower PEC from board maker to describe her for putting up when she's in rather than a photo-the connection to her is then made very quick in that way.

And then there's the other word that gets people whinging to stop.
Blood.
The blood that comes every month but not from an injury/illness,or as self usually calls it-'monthly blood'.
The common word used for it is 'period' ,to self,this word is a difficult one to get understanding from and am usually overloaded if attempt to process, have had it explained since the school years till now and it still makes no difference,'monthly blood' is easier to understand for self.

this can be 'too much' for other people who have feelings connected to words,as am often told by staff words like tits or fanny can make them feel bad so they prefer to use less obvious words,but what when these words are the ones that feel most grounded to process/understand and be of use to self [if that makes any sense]?

Not only that,it gets even worse when echolalia is involved.
As someone who's verbal speech is echolalic based,a lot of what has been picked up is the words that others automatically assume am
being challenging,offensive,trying to get some attention off them. etc with- when these are not even being processed in head,actual wording in echolalia means nothing to self,it also hasn't helped living and being schooled with people who use these words often as insults as their use becomes the standard meaning for all uses of it,family have been the worst [mum can go through the lot,especially when drunk] but they're also the first ones to tell those helping self to try and phase them out which will not work unless am doing it in free speech.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Meet some friends

Non autism related,but these photos were taken yesterday,when had been to see some buddies, legs were paralysed at the time from a meltdown x seizure on the way to ride jasmine,so was not able to get out of the minibus to give them their rubs and a horsebix.

They are owned by gypsies and are in a mess-they do not get rugged in the winter,or sprayed with anti fly stuff in summer,their fields are even worse,the RSPCA has been out with an independant vet often to see them having been reported by the locals,but refuse to do anything because they say they are not 'suffering' and the state of the fields is upto the untraceable field owners to sort it out and not the gypsies who just loan it,surely even if that is true-is no excuse for leaving own horse in such a state,unrugged,unshod,eating ragwort and rubbish, and getting cut up by barb wire fences?

Now onto the girls:



Have known most of them since they were babies,the black and chestnut horses have got foals on the way,those get a bit more looked after than the rest as they have better owners.

Tack shops and plus size models that don't eat toilet roll

Today,had finally managed to do what had been the unthinkable till now.
Am not talking about a skill or learning something-but getting hold of some Breyer models which have been asking to get every day since november last year,but for some reason had not been taken to get them.

Had originally thought it was a trip to Robinsons needed back then,
but as many Robinsons [the wigan one] goers will no-they are useless for breyer.
Then had been told about the far far better 'estate supplies' store in Ashley/Cheshire,the staff are extremely patient and also understanding of needs including sensory-had got similar treatment from staff at robinsons but not all,and unlike Robinsons there is no stairs involved.

There is no disabled parking which can be a problem for self, though regular parking is at the door anyway,and the parking is bayless as its a working farm-so autists who need the extra space for restraint and support,and keeping distance because of sensory issues with neighbouring cars,'wheelies','wobblies',and anyone else with a BB who may need the wider spacing should be able to get parked easy enough,it fits the mini bus as well,unlike the disabled parking at wigan-robinsons which has small and tight dis.bays.

Enough about parking...
So was in the store-and again,had wanted to take the lot home,it's such an awesome shop,the best shop ever,and they always have the stuff in stock,unlike the small tack shops like bits & pieces where have to order stuff a lot of the time [even so little as a packet of horse bix is often out of stock because they struggle to get enough off their suppliers from what they told us].

In estate supplies,after checking out the horsey gear,had ran to the Breyer section,and grabbed a couple of them:
http://breyerhorses.co.uk/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=classics&product_id=310&category_id=10&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=36
[that one is a largeish pinto].

http://breyerhorses.co.uk/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=traditional&product_id=279&category_id=1&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=36
^had grabbed this one because it looks the most like Jasmine have seen so far of the breyer range,it is very large,if anyone knows of any dark brown/black and white fat n cobby breyers that are not yet retired-please email the name!

it is a american paint horse-jas is a dark skewbald cob and she is also fat and would never see her galloping unless a haynet on a stick was held over her which is the stance that the model is in,but it is the closest one to her have seen so far.
it is even so detailed to the colouring it even has a wall eye.
And another thing as well-this one is in the limited edition range and these ones get retired quick[think this one is retired from what breyer says but luckily E/S have old and new in.

And next week or this week depending when sister gives it,am getting a large breyer called Striker [for birthday]-this is the one that has been made to support the RDA,Striker is a real palimino that works for the RDA and won the competition to be picked as the face of RDA.

Am more a fan of coloureds [skewbald/piebald] but being an RDA member and rider,the main reason had chose Striker was to support the RDA as well as get the model.

If have managed to read down to here-here's a photo of them and where they now stand-it's a temperary squashed up position because am slowly going to be moving the old cards in there and taking them down so can use the whole shelf for breyers.
They are being kept between the outer double glazing,and the sound proofing window to make sure they do not get smashed.

Would extremely recommend breyers to anyone who likes horses,
children or adult it doesnt matter.

Would also recommend parents taking their autistic kids to estate supplies if they are into horses,and are looking for things to do as it doesn't get as busy as robinsons does because it's in the countryside and not well known.
they sell other country/farm related stuff such as clothing,and doggy stuff,so parents may find something they are interested in getting to.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Cluckin awesome

Meet our beautiful girls-Henny,Penny and Ethel:
They come from a charity that rehomes ex battery chucks [eg-the ones that are stuck in tiny cages to live a life of egg laying and plucking each others feathers out],and they are amongst some of the most spoilt ex battery chuck chucks will ever meet,they also live in the garden and not at the farm so am able to see them every day!

Though a lot of us here have Pica [the chewing/eating of non food items]-in own case there are not many items on the list,but others have 'poo' on theirs so the chucks are not allowed to wander the garden often incase it's eaten-their run has been built extra big to make sure they're ok.

their favourite treat is grated cheese,and sometimes peas.
Sometime ago,after the girls had not layed eggs for along time [according to dad/an ex farmer-this is common in winter but not as little as they layd],had found out about meal worms as a chicken side-fud,so had bought a tub of dried ones for them which afew days later they were laying piles of eggs:
-have seen some really violent scenes on the likes of youtube,toxic junction and ync before,but they are just a bunch of elderly grandmas slapping each other with their handbags when compared to Henny,Penny and Ethel at meal worm feeding time,they cannot get enough of them!

Am best friends with them now,am spotted from a long way away though think it has more to do with the pot of meal worms being carried.

They won't allow anyone to pick them up,because of their experiences as battery girls but they are great to be around,and would recommend them as pets to Autists who have the garden space [girls only otherwise will get neighbours complaining about the noise the boys make] or to parents of autists who want a pet for their child but think there's a risk with their childs behavior affecting an indoor pet-a lot of the children here [respite and live in] like the chucks just as much as self as they haven't been accomodated in towns as pets until now.

trying to get dad to get some now in his garden,mums in on it and is trying to turn him to the ways of the chicken to [is only thinking of the eggs].

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

A random point for today

Here's a random one for anyone who is HI/HoH [=hearing impaired/hard of hearing],as long as have got a mild level of HI- and would prefer people to speak louder,get a pair of weak ear defenders,
B and Q have these-the brighter the colour-the better.
Next,put on the ear defenders,can put the cups slightly behind the ear or in front if it takes away too much hearing-it usually works like this.

It will depend on the person but should start to get a strong improvement in volume in the persons voice.
For some reason,people automatically assume are either fully deaf-or
listening to music when wearing ear defenders even though there are no cables and look nothing like headphones so they turn up their own volume when speaking [not so good if are actually the extreme opposite to being HoH].
Ear defenders can be replaced with large cup headphones,as it should work the same.

lip reading and being too honest

Am not very good at it,but had enough understanding of it to work out a little the other day...

Was sat in room with a support staff,going through morning routine when another support staff came in and said to other support staff without using voice-'the keys are in the fridge'.

Now to someone who doesn't know,they may think its just a load of crap that have lip read wrong,but have got a habit of stealing keys and pens and putting them all in the same corner lined up the same way [this being where always get caught out as everyone knows where to look,but am not doing it for trickery],so they are kept in places that am unable to unlock,except he doesn't seem to realise staff have ripped off the lock things on the fridge now anyway.

So....in walks he..head had been focused where his mouth now moved,every word he said was clear and so obvious,they both wondered why had become uncontrollable with laughing,until giving it away about being able to lip read.
Its times like this,wish was not so honest,had ended up pointing out an extra can of redbull had nicked in a different bag after coming back on sunday,as am not allowed fizzy drinks after evening,so had to say good bye to can.
But then,got it back with extra today,when redbull/coke cubord was left unlocked this morning,had ran in,grabbed a few and stashed them in bedroom,staff came in with another redbull that will always have with morning medication.
Such good outcome didnt last as they spotted the empty remains of one and said have used both redbulls that am allowed per day already now.

Monday, 15 February 2010

PECS

Being a makaton user,it is sometimes very difficult if it is the only form of obvious communication on offer to self when fully non verbal,don't have quick-or no access to laptop or PDA [usually because batteries have ran out] and the person am trying to sign to will only respond to limited number of signs [eg,backwards 'peace' sign or just the one finger flipped up].
That is where PECS comes in.

Have now collected a huge pile of PECS pictures-most of which do not fit in this large PECS book [which not only has standard pages but also added ones,ones that have been adapted for the book,and also ones that have come from the smaller PECS book that had been using before it]:
Thanks to both the current autism service am in and NAS,they have made communication a lot less difficult,for self and staff,and am not having to spend ages messing about looking for one PEC in the bumbag anymore either-that is now gathering up dust.

The current autism service had also provided much better TEAACH/PECS time line/whatever service are in-wants to call them boards than what had used at home which did not have enough space for what was needed.

All spare PECS are kept in seperate mini sandwich type boxes,and have also got the alphabet in own style of finger sign,attached to
string.

Have got a very snazzy looking horsey 'disability' bag to carry the lot in, had been in a small tack shop called bits and pieces one day grabbing everything in sight when had spotted a awesome small blue!! bag from shires 'buddies' range-it is now the official 'disability' bag, taking over from the recked n retired bear camo rucksack,it holds blue badge,PDA,ear defenders,all the non booked PECS,spare velcro,ear plugs,horse bix [pepper mint flavour,looks like small shredded wheats but is for horses and they like it a lot]...
Would always recommend trying PECS if self or child has got a need for it,it would not stop self or child from communicating in any other form it can have the opposite effect and make want to communicate.

One of the big issues have got with PECS is it is not very accessible to the individual autist or parent of autist,the major programs for making own PECS,such as the board maker series [screenshot of boardmaker]:Are perfect for individuals and not too difficult to use once have learnt how it works,but they price us lot out by charging at what only organisations/charities/clubs/schools etc can afford.

And SALTs take too long sorting PECS needs out,if they even get that far,had gave up waiting for P/books from own SALT and used several small PECS books owned by the organisation instead-with a belt in one for a strap and a technics lanyard for the other-
until...had been given the large blue one near new year.

Why isn't PECS software a part of open source now,are there no programmers who can see the point of it,or maybe have PECS using family instead?
Heres hoping it catches up with text to speech,speech to text and screen readers in open source in the near future!

Surprise

Lately have been having a difficult time-result has been more built up concussion,head injury,fucked up vision,jaw locking in place constantly, increasing tinnitus,and making communicative /interactive strength almost non existant especially in terms of online back forth chat [foruming].
So being told anything good has been very welcome.
Today,have been told a complete surprise,from the services' owner [via manager and support staff] which has given some ammo for distraction.

They have said,am allowed to have a pet tortoise in bedroom in their tank/cage,there is no allergy issues with them and residents/staff.
they already have the tortoise-the homes builder/DIY guy has got him and all the gear and will be getting him this week or next week.
And this is not instead of the kitty at the farm,am allowed to still have her as well.
Have asked for a shetland pony stabled in own semi wetroom here but they have said no to that,think might have rushed that one too quick.

As soon as Mr Whippy [he's having that name now,as long as its a he] arrives will get some photos up.

And birthday is coming up next week,will be going horse riding with Jas as usual as it is on the same day as birthday,but will be driving straight to blackpool afterwards with usual staff [one=horsey lady, other lady=finds pie shops or chippies on the way like a human sat nav].

Sister is getting a large breyer horse model as a present [the one made
to support the RDA],hope to be buying some other breyers as well this week or next from estate supplies as they've got quite a few that look like jas,without most of the fat,piss stains or long fringe.

think mum and dad are going to get breyers to but no idea how they're going to get down to estate supplies.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Disability rants

Others who happen to be reading this,may or may not feel they cannot relate or agree with what am saying but there is a few things that that have noticed coming back up again,like unwanted cat spew-they have always been something have noticed,but again-they are appearing in force because of the current thing people have over those of us on disability and disability/long term illness unable to work related benefits [did that make sense?].

Does anyone else recognise and spot the ignorance in these:
-are not disabled or a genuine claimer for disability benefits and unable to work unless are more disabled than stephen hawking].
-[enter a relatives name here] is a full time wheel chair user and works so if they can do it,it means everyone who isnt a wheel chair user are frauding DLA.
-people who can do physically demanding activities do not or should not be getting HRM of DLA,at the least they should not be getting any disability benefits because there is plenty of work for them to do,and access is easy for them.
-HRM is for people with physical disability disabilities,LRM is for people with mental health disabilities [or something like that].
and completely non benefits related:
-Autism is a mental illness/comes under mental health.
-People with severe autism cannot change or improve,they especially cannot communicate or use forums/blogs/internet and have severe intellectual impairment.
-People with profound autism have no skills at all and should be seen as complete burdens rather than having no ability to learn.
-People with autism at any level or form-cannot change.
-People with autism dont have humour,if they do,they're not really autistic-or are very mildly autistic.

Most of the first group based around benefits have one thing in common,in that they are about physical disability,whilst completely ignoring the rest of the spectrum.

As one of many on HRM under non physical criteria [indefinite award],am not understanding why many-including disabled people either have no idea,forget or dont seem to care that they are affecting us when they pass it on that HRM is only for severe physicals,and not for 'mentals' [under DLA they section under one or the other]-and LRM is for mentals and mild physicals.
Even the benefits staff can be the same,as those who have experienced it or know what have written about it here in own situation will understand.
Those of us on it under non physical criteria have to have very severe getting around/mobility issues in other ways,that can be life threatening without restraint or physical support,as well as being a lot more difficult to get accomodated and supported than basic physical disability-as places understand to put ramps,lifts,handrails and hearing aid loops in,and for those who really do care-tactile directing/information for VIs,but they do not think of how to make them accessible for non physically disabled people,many of us cannot
use a lot,most or none at all places- for some because of access problems.
HRM and having a car or motability car gives us some quality of life and freedom as public transport can be a no go to us as well as to some severely physically disabled people but for different reasons.

Those who see a able bodied looking person jumping out of a blue badge owning car running into a building/place need to stop and think,could this be a support staff/carer who does the driving,or someone with a severe variable condition where they may be unable to even walk on the way back,could this person be someone on HRM
for non physical reasons [eg,will not be the driver usually]...


And autism....
-Autism/ASD is not a mental illness,and does not come under the mental health spectrum,it is still not attached to any one cause and probably wont ever be,but the common belief is neuro.
The 'mental impairment' part of DLA is not just meaning mental illness/mental health,it means disabilities that affect someones thinking.

-Severe autism is a spectrum,it is not just the most extreme experience-and usually what people think they are calling severe autism is profound autism.
With the support early on and in adult age-we do change,and can change very well depending on the skill and the person,as well as their level of mental impairment which can range from minimal to profound-not all of us are the traditional/oldskool idea of LF.
People who assume are unable to use a computer/interact on a blog/forum/whatever,unable to communicate have not been around enough severely autistic people to know how different it is in everyone.

The NAS here has managed to teach profoundly autistic people to use computers and understand words to use them for communicating.
Other profoundly autistic adult service users at the same centre even use board games to communicate and interact with support staff so never doubt someone with autism and their ability to change, regardless of level.
The best thing can give us [autists at any level] from a young age is support,strength,hope and belief in us.

-Humour is a big part of the spectrum but its usually missed because people think not being able to understand humour and not telling jokes is the same thing as not having a humour.
Some autists may not have a humour but it is not a way to judge level of autism,as it differs no matter the severity.

Am not able to understand others humour,and dont do jokes but had once been told by a support staff--if had removed all the obvious barriers to doing this,would have been great at the frogtastic night,[at the frog and bucket comedy club in manchester--frogtastic is a comedy night every month for adults with learning disabilities], am often told that am making people wet themselves due to laughing, and have got a huge humour,but am never trying to make people laugh,never notice it and neither care,in fact sometimes have found it
to be not nice because when some people are constantly set off,they say to stop it-but stop what,am not doing anything?

Friday, 12 February 2010

A very very very late update

Have done a lot of stuff since last post.
In december,had finally moved into the new residential centre,have settled in quite well here though not fully because of the lasting effects of history in other homes/being moved around alot,and having to lose the NAS support staff though they remain best friends now.

It had affected eating again and for months was not eating anything ,was only getting the ensures,frapachinos,the usual drinks and that was it,but have slowly started to eat a little bit again at weekends when at mums/dads as routine had not changed there.
Haven't eaten anything here yet,but staff and managers are slowly trying to get self into the routine of it again.

Though it still is very bad,have had quite a big improvement in the hyperacusis thanks to being here,as before-was not able to cope with a TV being on low level nearby,but now am able to cope with it usually.

One thing staff had mentioned last night was have not ran off once whilst living here,and it's right-though have attempted it,it's a bit difficult anyway as the doors and windows are always locked,but am finally feeling settled with somewhere.

Have got a bigger PECS collection now,and dont use the bum bag anymore thanks to being given large and small PECS books to hold them in,and it's made a huge difference to communication-for both self and staff.

Have got the organisations copy of 'boardmaker' installed on laptop [though it wont work without the disc which can be hard getting hold of if its in the childrens building] so am able to get PECS for self whereas before it was relieing on NAS for them.
Have also been making own PECS due to boardmaker not always having what is needed,and will put them alltogether in another post incase anyone else would like to make use of them.

Due to social worker,appointee and managers working out that will not be able to afford to run the size of car needed [via motability] as it would seriously restrict everything else in life, and also because have got the use of the minibus and car here,have decided to go along with what they said and will not be getting the car.

And it finally happened,but am in the process of adopting a big fat long haired puss,who will be living on the farm [that is owned by the organisation owner]-she isnt a farm cat or ferral-she will be living in a residential building on the farm,and she has some funny communicative/ behavioral differences which so far has made her the longest staying cat at the sanctuary [eg,one of them is hissing to greet people,another is to smack humans with her paw when she's fed up with being stroked-don't blame her really].

Have got our own teacher here,who teaches us lifeskills,he is about to start teaching us an ASDAN course called towards independance:
http://www.asdan.org.uk/towards_independence.php
the last time was in college was made to leave because of affecting the other students,and it was one of the units of this course that had been doing-so am really glad will be finally able to do it properly and finish.
Have done a similar ASDAN course before,completed it and did not miss one day off,though failed a lot of the units because it didn't go low enough.
But this one will be from home,which is awesome!
Have been told part of what will be doing is basic animal care-so will get to help out at the farm,something have wanted to do for a long time [well,with horses].
Had painted a picture of a skewbald shetland pony called Midnight that lives on the farm and the manager thought it was so good she framed it and put it up in the classroom [the farm is for the organisations service users],so have been encouraged a lot to show off this skill.

This year, will be going on holiday with support staff-for the first time since Bendrigg which was a long time ago.
There's a group holiday being planned for Bendrigg,but had backed out of that idea and am hoping to go on a localish RDA riding holiday instead.

As for riding,am still with Jasmine,but they are going to start changing the stirrupless saddle-from the bareback pad am used to to a treeless with bareback pad attached plus stirrups,as would like to start getting into jumping,they said have got perfect balance and that its the best riders who can do jumping stirrupless,to progress to that level-would need to use stirrups first and these cannot be used with the bareback pad.

Am not able to use english leather saddles for sensory reasons,so will be moving onto their requisite treeless saddle [thats robinsons brand] with the fleecey one on top,have wished they would make a adults/fat arse version of the synthetic very grippy safari cub saddle [the one that had first started riding with].
Doubt it will work anyway as the madam will just plow straight through the jumps like she does with the trotting poles,all she wants is to get back to her haynet.