With all the doom and gloom around the world these days, it’s a little too easy to get weighed down by the prospect of a lengthy quarantine.
And when you’re an equestrian who is used to being out in the fresh (or sometimes not so fresh) air, it can be especially hard to go without a bit of barn-related stress relief. While all this is very necessary for the greater good, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a bit cranky as you watch your riding season go down the drain.
But fear not! For the equestrian world has got your back.
Put down that remote, pause that tenth rewatch of Heartland, and check out these chances for a little positivity arising from the COVID-19 pandemic…
1. Educate yourself with Beezie Madden
Is the great BZ sitting around her tack room stewing about lost show fees? Of course not! Beezie and her husband John are taking this opportunity to make and post helpful videos on what they call “The Madden Method.” So far, they’ve posted two instructional videos on leg yielding and leg position.
And even an entire flatwork and cavaletti lesson.
Without that busy social calendar, you suddenly have a lot more time to further your horsey education.
2. Design your dream course with Guilherme Jorge
Ever fantasized about having a course designed just for you by an Olympic course designer? I’m going to assume you just said yes. Guilherme Jorge, the course designing mastermind behind the Rio Olympics, is offering to design custom show jumping courses for your personal riding ring. And if you think he’s only doing it for the best of the best, think again. While Jorge does mention riders interested in Grand Prix level, he’s also inviting those with young horses or amateur riders to contact him as well. Simply send him an email him to find out more!
3. Catch up on COVID in the horse world
One of the really unique things about a pandemic in this day and age is the sheer amount of information available. If you’re interested in learning more about how Coronavirus is affecting equestrian communities in particular, you have a couple of great options. Podcast giant Horse Radio Network has a dedicated page for corona horse world updates, complete with information like daily news, uplifting stories, interviews with professionals, and even some live music events.
Or, check out FEI judge and sports announcer Adam Cromarty for “Under the Saddle,” his Facebook Live radio show on Thursdays, where he hosts riders and professionals from the equestrian community.
4. There’s one show you don’t have to skip
Stateline Tack has heard the cries of a thousand canceled events, and stepped up in a big way. Coming soon, they’ll be hosting an online horse show series for those wanting to show in hand and under saddle, without breed restrictions. They advertise that there will be real judges, real prizes, and (best of all) no entry fees. It remains to be seen whether waiting around all day for a two-minute round will be mandatory or optional.
5. Think globally, act locally
Sometimes positives don’t come from major events, but they come from the little everyday efforts that help support a community and bring it together. Barns don’t exactly make people rich (duh), and the current lack of lessons, training, and sales will certainly take its toll on our local trainers and instructors (you know, those people that never get tired of hauling you to shows or telling you to keep your heels down).
So, if you can, buy a training package now, or ask about a gift certificate for a lesson on your barn buddy’s birthday. Or, even consider a virtual lesson with your instructor. The best part? They’ll never know if the Facetime connection is really that bad or you’re just saying it is…
With the entire horse world temporarily shut down, there will only be more opportunities for online equestrian interaction out there. Post your favorite finds in the comments below and share the love!