Blog 38: A little less sense and a little more faith
Well what strange times. We have been incredibly fortunate to have been at the yard every day caring for and riding our horses in lovely weather. I cannot imagine the hardships that some people are living through…
Martin and I have treated it as an opportunity to crack on with training. We didn’t jump for the first seven weeks as we would have been mortified to be an extra burden to the NHS, but now that we have the green light in that respect, we’ve had our first few pops. Of course, everyone has their own reasons and thoughts about where to draw the line; we did concede that hacking Rodders would be asking for trouble, so he has been confined to the arena.
Many people have taken the opportunity to rethink how they do things. Having made a huge lifestyle change from a busy London job to this one back in 2004 I imagine there are less things for me to challenge. Only, as it turned out, my marriage. With plenty of free time I agreed that I would tidy up and clear out the shed. Twenty five years of junk, spiders and dust later I was smugly marvelling at my efforts when I was asked if I could go back through twelve sacks of rubbish to rescue a few items that Martin felt might still be useful….ahem.
With Martin working from home he has been able to work the horses more often. This has been a real variety of flatwork, polework, lunging over cavaletti etc. and seems to have made quite a difference to Rodders in particular. Engaging the wires that run between his brain and his feet has always been tricky, but massive progress has been made. He can now work through all sorts of polework patterns that previously would have caused him a meltdown, yet now he is showing the girls up. He also is starting to look a lot more balanced on the flat. I am not sure what he will do now in terms of competing this year but it’s great to see him developing.
Millie has been plugging away at her flatwork. She now has half-passes that are quite smart and is playing with some flying changes. As always one way is easier than the other, but who’d have thought that she would be working towards Advanced Medium dressage! Martin often says “a little less sense and a little more faith” and never were there truer words.
I started to bring Ehren back into work 16 weeks ago. She has only actually worked for 10 of those weeks and has had three trips to sickbay. What can I say? Thankfully all for minor things but she’s not exactly chomping at the bit to resume her PSG dressage career.
Baby Eryk is fully weaned and enjoying life with his Dales mate Albus. They are really funny together and I waste lots of time watching them. It’s not long before they celebrate their first birthdays. How quickly time flies.
Then talking of unlikely dressage divas, the Bomber has been working on some PSG movements. We are by no means ready for competing at that level but we have started playing with our tempi changes, and some work towards the half pirouettes. With the extra time I’ve had she has been enjoying lots of hacking around the farm too which has been lovely. She is such a trier.
People have been amazing; from random messages just to chat, funny home-made videos to keep me smiling, offers of paying for lessons up front to help me with cash flow and some (unbeknown to me until I looked at my bank balance) even paid for lessons they never had as a gesture of their support. I am truly taken aback.
Yesterday we received two incredible drawings as a thankyou for helping Chloe rehabilitate her horse Grav from injury. One of our little patterdale Pip who we lost a year ago at 16 years old, and the other is of Baby Eryk. Not known for being easily impressed and being a bit scathing of drawings that really don’t capture the animal at all, these knocked me sideways.
Coming up with our own horses we will restart jump schooling and have a little play XC schooling if that seems appropriate. Flatwork lessons and SJ clinics have restarted on a 1-1 basis. We are by no means over Covid-19 yet but are cautiously making small moves in the direction of a new normal.
Martin and I look forward to catching up with people from an appropriate social distance, and hope that everyone is staying sane and healthy.
Millie and Rod XC schooling at Tweseldown just before lockdown
Albus and Eryk
Bomber doing groundwork during lockdown
Bomber hacking during lockdown