During this lockdown, I have kept myself busy doing some of my “summer” jobs at home. Pressure washing/disinfecting the winter stables, deep cleaning tack, harrowing and rolling paddocks as well as tidying the yard.

In between these jobs I have been riding my horses to keep them ticking over, doing basic schoolwork and pole exercises.  As the guidance has been not to do jump exercises, I have been free schooling the horses and this allows me to keep an eye on how they are moving.   I find free schooling handy because it allows me to see how they are going – most of the time I am riding on my own and don’t have any mirrors on our ménage.

Last month I entered an online dressage competition with Castle who scored a 71.90% to win his section.    It was very easy to register, no membership fee! Sadly, with new guidance this competition has also been suspended so my other two horses Blue and TJ didn’t get a chance to compete.

Castle also been keeping me on my toes, constantly reminding me of his humorous nature!   We were asked to take part and provide a video clip for the Loo Roll Challenge, which ended up with Castle pulling the funniest face every time we tried it!

I have been watching videos of last season’s competitions to analyse my riding style and looking to see if there are any tweaks I can make.   I have also been continuing with Pilates work (at home), to help keep my body balanced and supple for the horses.

With all of this in mind, the Governing bodies for each discipline have been doing a fantastic job in releasing statements for competitions and training and excellent advice. I know BE are still working out how to resolve the issues that the cancellations have caused – especially (in my case) the 2020 qualified Science Supplements Cup competitors – fingers crossed for us all they can work out solution for when the sport is allowed to start up again.

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