It’s been one of those weeks. It’s been frenetically busy, and I have come out of it feeling completely wiped out. . Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom, but there have been some challenges that I would rather have not had to face. There has been an unacceptable amount of focus, negativity, an, for want of a better word, prejudice, aimed at me , as blind , for my personal comfort, and not enough recognition of the whole person. I haven’t had much opportunity to shake It off by playing ponies.
An example of this happened on Thursday, when Hal and I spent a, mostly, enjoyable time at the Royal Cornwall Show. It isn’t the worst thing that happened this week, but it’s a prime example of the sort of thing that I, and countless other blind and visually impaired people, especially Guide Dog owners, and, I imagine, wheelchair users, have to deal with on a daily basis. . It’s also the most horsey related example of the week. . We
Are thinking about buying a trailer. So we thought Royal Cornwall Show would be a good place to d
Some research. Enter the idiot from Newgent Horse Boxes.
The conversation went like this.
Hal. Aha, horse boxes!
Me. Ooh, what make?
Hal. Newgent? Ring any bells?
Mee, squeezing between two closely parked trailers. No. Oh the ramp isn’t down. There’s no room back here.
Man, strolling over. Hello, can I …
ooh what a lovely dog!
Me. Shame the ramp isn’t down I’d have liked to gone inside
Man. Is it OK to say hello
Be, removing Quincey’s harness. What size horses will this take?
Man. Are you interested in horse boxes then?
Hal. Yes, we haven’t had one before so we’re just doing some homework
Man. Is he a collie? That’s unusual.
Me. He’s half collie half Golden Retrieber. So I’d be able to put 2 16.2’s in here?
Man. Hmm I think so. Yes, I think you can carry some quite large horses in here. You have horses then?
Hal. Yes, my wife is horse and. Is the floor aluminium?
Man. So do you ride then?
Me. Yes. What did you say oh say the floor was made of?
Man. Aluminium. So are you partially sighted or blind then?
Me. Totally blind… and what about the ramp, actually, is there a front ramp? Are they wood or ally?
Man. You must have excellent hearing
Me. Not really. What did you say the ramp was made of?
Man. Oh, aluminium. There’s no wood anywhere in the construction. The sides are some kind of composit
Me, tapping side of trailer. Oh I see
Man. You can really tell by doing that! You really do have heightened senses don’t you
Hal. So how much is one of these?
Man. Hmm, I think it’s about £6000.
Me, losing the will to live. Do you have a brochure?
If ever a man came across as not knowing anything about, or not having any interest in, his product, it was this chap. Frustratingly, this act of hyjacking of a situation by asking irrelevant , and sometimes extremely personal, questions about my Guide Dog, or my eyesight, happens on a daily basis. If I sat next to you on a bus or train, and, on noticing your wedding ring, exclaimed at the top of my voice in tones of total amazement, “your Married!?”, you would, rightly, be very offended. If I then went on to ask you if your spouse was ginger/blue-eyed/black/fat… too you would think I was both rude and weird. So why do you think it’s OK to do this to me? Likewise, if a salesperson kept asking you questions about your gender/sexuality/religion/cultural background/ethnicity.. you wouldn’t be very impressed. However, I’m routinely expected to grin and bare the inevitable barrage of sometimes intimate questions about my blindness, and am accused of having an attitude problem if I complain. This is something that impacts on every aspect of my life, but, oddly, actually tends to be less prevalent in the horse world.
Later on we came across a company who had Ifor Williams horseboxes. What a contrast! The man here knew his product inside out, and really wanted to sell it too us. Nothing was too much trouble, and, best of all, it was the trailer, not me or Quincey, that was the star of the show.e