Together We Stand (2 metres apart)

This was a difficult blog to begin as we are one week into a nationwide lockdown and only at the beginning of a completely altered way of life. We are all riding by the seat of our pants through uncharted territory, not really knowing what’s going on, or what to say to each other! It’s apparent that expressions like, “stay home”, “flatten the curve”, “social distancing” and “please don’t come near me” are now in common parlance, while “fortune favours the bold” has gone out of fashion and “don’t give up your day job” is frowned upon.

 

That being said, we are all in this chaos together and we’re figuring it out. While some people are still gallivanting around and throwing caution to the wind, many of us are currently hunkered down with perhaps too much time to ponder what’s to come. And harbouring the fear that the real elephant in the room will be me if I spend another weekend on the sofa desperately flicking between Netflix, Amazon Prime and MySky. How long is this going to last? Straight from the horse’s mouth, our deputy chief medical officer, Dr Jenny Harries, managed to spill the beans yesterday with her mind-boggling prediction of six months or longer. As equestrians, who live and breathe a life outdoors and our end goal is to share our passion and commitment with others by attending regular events and social activities, we are finding house arrest particularly difficult to obey, to say the least. 

 

Nonetheless, we are playing our part in the containment of COVID-19. We’ve seen equestrian centres, riding clubs, livery yards and loads of other equestrian businesses and communities across the nation transform their bustling stables into no man’s land, taking on extra responsibilities and care duties for those who keep horses at their facility. We’ve seen photos and videos of riding school ponies turned out in the sunshine, seizing the opportunity to gain a couple more pounds of spring grass. We’ve also seen some awesome (albeit a little unorthodox) lockdown activities performed by equestrians that have certainly lightened the mood. 

 

Two of the centres we work with (Coldblow Equestrian Training Centre and Abram Hall Riding Club) are making hay while the sun shines and embracing this emerging virtual entertainment culture. They have just launched new Virtual Events and competitions to help riders maintain some level of normality/sanity and give them goals to work towards during this turbulent time. These are fun events that can easily be done from home with a camera and a spark of imagination. Hoofpick is hosting the performances on our newly developed hoofpick.tv where crowds of spectators are welcome to join (online from the safety of their own home of course!)

 

As we are slowly adjusting to this “new normal”, it’s quite humbling to witness so many people supporting each other. We are beginning to see how deep compassion runs in the equestrian community and are demonstrating just how resilient we are. There might well be more clouds on the horizon, but there is one last expression that seems truer than ever, together we have weathered many storms, and we will weather this one.