Horse riding in time of Corona

So the Coronavirus is upon us. It has put the entire globe into a lockdown it seems. Equestrians are of course heavily affected by this – how much so varies from country to country.

In those worst hit such as Spain and Italy – you are simply banned from riding at all – unless you are the elite of the elite and on a National Team. Here in the UK, all the shows are off – from national to grassroots and there is constant online debate about whether we should be riding at all?
If your horse is kept at a yard that is all locked down and you are not even allowed to visit, then the decision has been taken for you. If you keep your horses at home or on a yard that hasn’t declared owners barred then you are caught in the should-we shouldn’t-we conundrum.

Well, for what it is worth, I think each rider must look at their own circumstances and make their own call. If your horse is safe to ride and falling off is not something that happens often then I say keep riding as long as you can. I have read some lovely posts from frontline NHS workers who have said that their main way to stay sane in this crazy world is to grab a bit of time-out riding their horses.

It is probably not the time though to back a fresh youngster or take up showjumping if dancing between white boards is normally your thing!

It is probably not the time though to back a fresh youngster or take up showjumping if dancing between white boards is normally your thing! But in your own arena, or on your own land then sure, keep doing it for as long as you can.

Hacking is out for me is where I draw a personal line as, where I stay, it involves a lot of roadwork and none of my horses is particularly reliable on the roads, so I am giving that a body-swerve right now. But if you live in the middle of nowhere and can get out into the quiet countryside from your yard then I admit I am very jealous.

Riders know their own horses best. One of mine is a big quiet lad who is very safe to ride but I have a mare who can throw in a buck that would unseat John Wayne so I am being very careful and lunging her more often than I ride her at the moment.

If you do ride and put yourself in an unsafe position and hurt yourself just remember that A&E may not be functioning where you are right now, or you may have to wait for hours if not days in some cases to be seen. So have that in the back of your head before you get on that horse with the glint in its eye! Stay safe everyone.

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