WELL, we have survived another week in this bizarre situation of lockdown that we find ourselves in… For many, this has meant up to five weeks without work, school, social activities, meeting friends or going out, never mind the staples for horse and pony owners – namely riding lessons, schooling and competitions. It hasn’t been easy and it looks like it is to continue for a bit longer. All we can do is stick with it and hope that, if we do, it will be over very soon.
Over the past week, I have enjoyed spending a bit more time than usual with my horses – I have groomed, washed and even pulled a mane! In continuing to sort through my equestrian paraphernalia, I found a new tub of hoof conditioning cream, so I scrubbed some hooves and applied it. With the weather having been dry for quite a while, I think my timing was quite good and I am hoping it should help to prevent the hooves drying out or cracking – now I just need to remember to continue to apply it every other day!
I am also trying to keep exercising ‘Jewel’ as much as I can, as in doing so, I am attempting to keep that surge of exuberance (which she would demonstrate when not exercised regularly) in check and hopefully maintain our safety, as well as keep my head right.
As before, I have been thoroughly enjoying riding in the field – particularly in the sunshine we have experienced lately! It is such a pleasure to be able to ride my horse, enjoy a bit of nature, escape the Covid-19 news alerts and generally de-stress for a little while – whether you are riding at present or simply enjoying your horse from the ground, I’m sure horse owners will relate to this!
While I continue to ride round the perimeter of the field, ride circles in each pace and practice some leg yielding, I am aware of not letting boredom of repeating the same things over again take hold, so this week I introduced serpentines to our exercise regime. The field I ride in is long and quite narrow, so I start at one end and can ride a number of serpentines before I reach the other end. The constant variation of riding straight lines followed by half circles and the changes of direction, keep ‘Jewel’ focused and listening for the next instruction. I am still working up to riding a dressage test, but no doubt these little additions to our schooling sessions will all help.
I can safely say that I never usually spend so much time doing flatwork and this can only have a positive impact on our future performances, both on the flat and jumping, whenever normal service resumes!
Another positive thing that has come out of having a bit more time at home is that I have started to wade through the piles of saddle cloths, rugs and boots that I have accumulated… My plan is that I will launder whatever I can myself and organise the larger items that I will need to take to my equine laundry service whenever I am able to. All being well, this will mean that when competitions commence, all my presentable saddle cloths and cooler rugs will be clean and ready to go! Let’s hope that goes to plan…