Last time I checked in to my blog I was riding high (literally) with my new dressage saddle and trips up the gallops. Life was pretty easy breezy. Since then, the whole world has completely changed with the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic. As I use this blog to document life it makes sense to write about this and how things changed during March.
March started with another trip up the gallops, a sunny weekend and the usual “living for the weekend” attitude – life was relatively normal (with the exception of a lack of pasta in the shops!)
By the second week, I was panicking about coronavirus. The yard runs on tourism (as does the area in which I live) and I’ve also got a lot of friends and family who are classed as vulnerable or who are self employed. I was getting really worried about how the situation would affect everyone. By the weekend, I was really worried about the possibility of carrying or passing on the virus and I started avoiding places where other people would be – that basically meant going to the yard when everyone else had gone or was going home but still riding.
By the third week, the yard was set up with hand sanitising points and disinfectant sprays to use on anything that had been touched and we were told that restrictions would be put into place soon. The news that schools were closing to the majority of pupils came halfway through that week. I had been putting all my focus into giving the kids I work with all the support they needed and although I tried to make the week as fun as I could in the circumstances, it was really sad. My lesson at the weekend had been cancelled and although I rode on the Friday night after work, the next day I made the decision to stop riding. Although I haven’t fallen off for a long time, it didn’t feel right to still be doing something that is officially high-risk especially in the knowledge that if I fell onto my hip I would probably be worse off than the average person.
The first week of working from home (bar some time in work) was surreal. It was also when we were officially told to stay at home apart from for essential shopping, exercise and work. I set up my office in the garden and the weather was beautiful. I have to say, working on a laptop all day everyday is not my thing. I really miss the variety and the humans! At this point, the yard was closed to the public but in the evenings I used my essential exercise quota to walk there and walk Pea into the next village in hand – literally everyday I got asked “aren’t you meant to sit on it?”
By the last week of March, only the leasers and liveries were allowed to go to the yard (that is a grand total of about five of us). My weekly routine (working until later afternoon and then going to the yard) and doing some yard jobs (a bit of mucking out, sweeping, raking etc.) continued. At the end of March Pea and I were both getting a little bored of walking to the village so I started attempting to do some liberty training with her. Neither of us really knew what we were doing but it was good to do something! There were also plenty of days where I just left Pea to chill in her field.
I have no idea what the next few months will hold – there will certainly be no competition blogs – but I’ll be sure to keep recording it.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected you?