Wow, who would have thought I’d be writing this post? It’s April 1, and normally I’d be getting ready to start competing and be in the swing of a busy travel season for work, but instead I’m stuck at home, like the rest of the country and much of the world, on a lockdown from a global pandemic.
It’s been about three weeks since I’ve been working from home full-time, which I’m very fortunate to be able to do in these crazy times, and it looks like we’ll all be stuck through at least April and likely May.
I’m not mourning being unable to compete my own horse so much as not being able to have a normal routine and schedule and to travel and earn overtime. That’s what’s truly hurting me. I feel like Oh So and I accomplished a lot last year, and since he’s 20 this year, I’m not putting my hopes and dreams into any lofty goals. It was just going to be trying to improve our third level tests at dressage shows and competing at novice when we can.
It’s also the social aspect of competing and traveling which I miss. Seeing my media friends, talking to the riders in person and going to fun places. I thrive on being busy, and maybe sometimes I’ve used that as an excuse to not try new things in the past. Now I have a ton of free time, but can’t try new things because everything is shut down and meeting new people isn’t possible!
Before all of this, I was able to have a lovely trip to Wellington where I covered all three disciplines, and a trip of a lifetime to Sweden to visit the MIPS offices and Swedish show jumper Peder Fredricson.
I also ended up getting a new trailer in March after we had one too many problems with our 19-year-old Bison. I found a lovely Adam two-horse which I’m now not sure when I’ll be able to get registered and inspected since the DMV is closed!
I’m so glad I was able to see my parents and Oliver before all of this went down because my next trip was supposed to be for the Land Rover Kentucky in April. Not happening. In fact, pretty much everything through May has been canceled. It seems that most people have kind of accepted what’s happening and are doing their best to practice social distancing, but it’s still so weird to go out to the grocery store and not be able to find what I need or to see another human completely avoid being near me while out on a walk.
I’m so thankful to be able to continue to go out to the barn during all of this and ride. It’s definitely keeping me sane and giving my days a sense of purpose. Even if I don’t ride, just sitting in the barn and listening to the birds and the sound of the horses eating dinner is so relaxing after dealing with all the noise of the news cycle throughout the day. I’ll continue to go on walks every day too and do some at-home workouts to work up a sweat.
Unfortunately, Morven Park canceled Oh So’s spring check up and put us on a wait list. I was hoping to have his neck injected and do a soundness exam to see if he needs any help in his back, hocks or SI. He didn’t last year, which was great for my wallet, and he feels pretty good right now, but I don’t want to miss something and have him be uncomfortable. I’m contemplating having Piedmont, who usually only does his shots, do the neck injection at least.
It feels so weird to have no plans for the future and not know when this is going to end. How much fitness do I keep him in? For now, I’m keeping it sort of the same as I’ve been doing over the winter. Lots of hacking, a couple days of flatwork, maybe a flat lesson every other week, and a jumping lesson once a week with two days off. We’ve thankfully been able to go to Morningside and Loch Moy to jump and do some easy gallops and hill work, which is about where we’d be at this time of year anyways. We tend to not compete until late April or May because the footing can be wet this time of year, but it’s actually not been too bad this year.
Because my roommate went back to her parents’ house with the cat, I’ve been left completely alone, which sucks. I had been hoping to try to meet some new people through dating apps, but that’s also been halted for now, and I can’t go to the gym either. I’m lucky to be able to have a couple people to talk to at the barn, but it’s still lonely in my little apartment, so I decided now was the time to get a cat. With Oliver retired in Kentucky with my parents, I haven’t had a cat to call my own since August, and I’ve honestly been debating it since I moved here almost five years ago. Since I travel so much, I’ve felt guilty about getting one and then being gone all the time, but I think this is the best time to do it so I can get to know it. As of now, I won’t be traveling at all until the fall most likely since I had nothing in June or July scheduled anyways yet.
So, here’s introducing my new friend, Precious (new name TBD!). She’s about a year and a half old and came from Middleburg Humane. She came home on March 27 and spent the first 24 hours under my bed, and still likes to sleep there, but really enjoys following me around and being pet. We’re still not on the same sleep cycle yet, so I’m getting woken up between 4 and 6 a.m., but we’ll find our rhythm soon!