I’ve been thinking about a series of questions for my blogs recently and this topic was in the list, just not in this exact way. I definitely didn’t think this blog would be about not doing things because you might be forced to do nothing, but here we are, not doing things and trying to stay healthy. For some of you, this is a welcome break. You are getting stuff done and having plenty of time to play with your horses. Others, may not be getting to see their horses at all! Then there are those of you who are caring for a lot of horses, probably with minimal help, maybe minimal income and feeling totally overwhelmed. No matter who you are, there doesn’t appear to be a quick end in sight, so we need to make peace with the current situation.
How can we make the most out of keeping our distance from our horses? If you are lucky enough to have access to your horses, take the pressure off, have fun! You aren’t going to any horse shows soon. Learn something new about your equine partner. Do you really know how your horse thinks? Do you know what motivates him? It is a great time to work on your partnership, and I can help virtually. Plus, all that time with your horse, might start to make your horse want some social distancing. Beware of over training in your enthusiasm. Keep your horse happy to see you!
If you don’t have access to your horse, you can still work on your riding. How? Breathing, posture, visualization, and relaxation exercises can all be done anywhere and are fabulous for improving your riding and connection with your horse. You can also work on things like balance and core strength quite easily at home with no equipment. I can evaluate your needs from an old video (if you don’t have horse access) or a phone consult.
Feeling overwhelmed? Maybe it’s not from taking care of horses, but taking care of a family or your work is even more important now. I know this is easier said than done, but stop stressing about your horse! If your horse isn’t getting worked or you have too many to keep them all on the normal training schedule, oh well. They will rebound. Horses can teach us a lot about social distancing. They actually enjoy it. As I write this and watch mine in the field, they are all spread out, doing their own thing. Sure, they come together for herd activities, but there are many times when they are happily munching with more than six feet between them. Also, remember that time you actually took a vacation and came home to find your horse (who had the WHOLE WEEK off) super happy, ready to work, and feeling like a million bucks? He liked his break; he’ll like this one too. So, even if you can’t take a physical break right now, give yourself a mental one.
I would like to hear that everyone has stayed healthy during this pandemic and remember, horse people are a community, a group. We should be here for each other, so if you need anything, do not hesitate to reach out! We may not all live in close proximity, but sometimes we know the right person or resource who can help. Sometimes we are the right person to just lend a caring ear. Whatever it is, please reach out if you need assistance. I offer video conferencing and phone consults for all of your equine related questions. Check out my webinar on three things you can do RIGHT NOW, to keep making progress, WITH or WITHOUT your horse! Just signup in the Members section to view for free!