Anyone tired of corona yet?
I am definitely glad that I didn’t have any grand dreams or aspirations for the year, show-wise. I picked a convenient time to lay low and focus on other things. Of course, if this whole apocalypse thing could have waited until after the SO had started his new job (oh good, his start date has been delayed and thus now he’s technically unemployed), and after we had already bought the tiny house and rented out our house in the city (my eye is twitching just thinking about the crash of 2008), that would have been ideal. But, at least it waited until after I wasn’t boarding anymore, and when I’m living out on the farm. Definitely mega grateful for that.
I still get to see the horses every day, no matter what. They still have to be fed and turned out, stalls still have to be cleaned, arenas still have to be dragged, water troughs still have to be scrubbed, etc etc. In that way, nothing has changed for me. And as I see friends that are no longer able to go out to their boarding barns to see their horses at all, I feel really lucky. Trying to imagine being stuck in my house in the city and unable to see my horses is enough to drive me bonkers just thinking about it. Who knows what kind of weird hobbies I would have taken up by now if that was the case. Origami, or meditation, or whittling… something like that probably.
But on the farm, life hasn’t really changed much. Except that I’m home more, which is honestly really nice. The care of the horses is a non-negotiable, obviously, a daily thing that isn’t optional and can’t stop. There’s still that elephant in the room though, the question I keep running through my mind. At what point is riding too risky?
Some countries and states have already cut off recreational sports entirely. Not because of the risk of spreading covid while participating, but because of the risk of injury which then puts you in the hospital. When the hospitals are already super strained, ending up there because you fell off a horse seems ridiculously asinine. Because of that, other people have already voluntarily chosen to stop riding.
I completely understand that decision, and I go back and forth with it myself. I sure don’t want to be the asshole using up precious resources because I was selfish and wanted to ride my horse. On the other hand… I won’t lie, I do want to ride my horse. My horse stays soundest when he’s ridden regularly, even just lightly. However, it’s not an out-and-out necessity, and I won’t pretend that it is.
So, while I haven’t stopped riding yet, I have done a few things to modify my regular behavior. 1) I’m not riding as much. 6 days a week has gone down to more like 4 days a week. 2) I’m keeping it simpler. No big jumps, or tricky courses, or road hacks, or long conditioning rides over terrain. I’ve only jumped a couple times, and only a handful of jumps, and with those I set up things that were more likely to cause a run-out (ie skinnies) than a crash – proven to reduce the risk of a fall. Mostly though I’m just doing short hacks or flatwork rides in the arena. Basically, I’m trying to reduce some of the risk. 3) I’m keeping an eye on our local cases and our local ER’s. Right now, our county has 6 cases, and the local ER’s and urgent cares are operating without issue.
Of course, the situation evolves rapidly, so I’m constantly re-evaluating. We’re in weird, new territory that none of us really know the best way to handle, so I think much of it depends on the individual situation and trying to make the best choices you can for yourself day by day. I know there will come a point where local cases start to spike, and I very well may have to shut it down and stop riding altogether. Granted, the closest I’ve come to really injuring myself lately was when I had to climb over the back fence to retrieve one of Presto’s fly boots, or when I whacked the shit out of my head on a stall door because I am a klutz. There’s no way to take all the risk away when I’m at the barn every day, so… I’m just trying to be smarter about it and keep an eye on the world at large, knowing that the situation is ever-evolving.
How is everyone else doing? Still riding, or not? Going to the barn, or not?