So here we are still in lockdown and all doing our best to keep ourselves and our horses in some sort of positive shape, body and mind alike. Just what is the new normal going to look like and when will things get better’ … so lets look at some of the things that are going on right now in lockdown, as it is impacting some of us and what we can do about it.
Set some goals for yourself and stick to them !!!
I think without doubt there are some things which we as equestrians and followers of the horse have been proved to be good at during the lockdown. We can improvise, and we tend to be people who just get on with things come what may, in spite of the challenges. However, there are some things my mailbag seems to indicate some people are missing badly.
I think it is up to all of us as individuals to decide what we are missing most. I do think we all need something to aim for whatever it is, either in competition or with our personal standards, riding pleasure or generally in just setting some goals. The new normal might be a place where we all need to be more self generated in terms of motivation. It is in setting goals that we give ourselves a route map to achieving good things.
My clients seem to be missing their riding lessons a lot as we always focus on setting targets to provide a plan going forward ensuring no loss in improvement and enjoyment through encouragement and learning. I have created remote training plans for some which have proved to be very popular but some people will always prefer actual live sessions which is in a lot of cases impossible.
There has also been quite a lot of controversy lately over who can ride where and when and with whom. These conversations which have often revolved around an over focus on insurance as opposed to the far more valid aims of containing the spread of Corvid-19. As equestrians we are probably as aware as most non scientific people as to the spread of things, as we constantly monitor our horses for things like equine flu, strangles and so on. We are good at managing ourselves and our horses, I personally, do not think this point is made often enough. We need less regulation, not more and clear guidance on what is and is not allowed after the proper consultation. Knee jerk decisions are never good.
Competing our horses.
Competing clients are tearing their hair out right now over the cancellation of competitions. These cancellations whilst being absolutely the right thing to do still have potentially serious consequences, particularly psychologically for riders who are keen to compete and frame their whole lives around their total dedication to their riding performances. I have made suggestions to lessen the effects of the lockdown by focusing on the improvement of their horses in the aspects that they perhaps never get around to but time is perhaps one of the things we have a bit more of now. It might be a case of now or never in terms of opportunity to self motivate and improve without any direct help.
This is maybe a new or growing problem for some horse riders. It is very difficult if riding or caring for your horse is very central to your life and to then have it taken away. I think now more than ever is a time to look around us and support each other as best we can. Maybe make that call to a horsey friend you have not seen, making the first move is always the hardest for some people but one call could make a massive difference to somebody.
Is the equine world getting the correct message across to the government?
I believe we, as a grown up, knowledgeable and responsible fraternity, should have been involved more in the recent decision making processes about what is and is not allowed when it comes to horse riding, instruction and general use. The basic message I would send to the people saying for example indoor arenas should not be used is this… if more people looked after themselves as well as we look after our horses we might never have got into this mess in the first place. It would appear some bad decisions have been made. We can only hope some positive decisions are made soon about indoor instruction, competitions and private tuition which will go a long way to making horse riders and their horses start putting things back together as we go forward into an uncertain future.
Finally, on a personal note I have taken some time out over the enforced lockdown to do some studying and revision of the equine subjects I find most fascinating and would strongly encourage readers to do the same. There is no such thing as bad knowledge and we are still learning.
I have also undergone a wholesale revamp of my own professional website which can be viewed at www.equinesolutions.co.uk Follow me on twitter @Brianequine
Thank you all for following my articles and stay safe.