10 things you can do to cope with COVID-19

With the country experiencing a lockdown it's no surprise that competitions and arena hires have been cancelled, all but essential travel has been banned and most full care livery yards going into lock down and owners not being allowed to visit and a lot of people not riding at all, I know that a lot of horsey people are struggling. Not only is the situation terrifying, but to then also lose what keeps us sane means that 2020 is turning out to be a bit of a disaster. With the government recommending to practice social distancing and self-isolation, I’m sure a lot of people have found themselves es with some extra time on their hands and not quite sure what to do with it.
So, aside from riding/exercising your horses (if you're allowed to go to the yard and if you want to ride!), here are a few things you can do to keep yourself busy:
1. Wash your grooming brushes if you've got them at home ๐Ÿงผ A bit of shampoo or Fairy Liquid and some warm water is all you need, you can even get the kids to do it for you in the garden when the sun is out.
2. Have a clear out of your equestrian wardrobe ahead of the competition season, whenever that might happen. If you have clothes at the back of your wardrobe that you know don’t fit, get rid of them! You don't need to feel more crappy than we already do in the current environment. Once the lockdown is over, you can sell them - I know I'll appreciate the extra cash!
3. Do some online shopping - most equestrian retailers are small businesses who need as much help as possible. Support your favourite equestrian businesses as much as possible, because small businesses are the first to go under as they won't survive the weeks and months of little or no cash flow, so do what you can help them to survive - and this doesn't mean just shop, a like or share on social media can help them as much ๐Ÿ›
4. Brush up on your skills off the horse - There are tons of books that you can order (I love my The BIG Book of Dressage Exercises workbook from How to Dressage that I got for Christmas) or magazine you can read at home. On my blog there are a lot of blog posts about different exercises that you can check out so that once you're back to riding you can try them out.
5. Get your horse fix online - find new bloggers and vloggers to follow on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Social media is your best friend here, and if you want to you could even start your own blog or vlog if you've never had the time to do so. Podcasts are the best too ๐ŸŽง
6. Get riding fit for the season ahead - there are tonnes of at home workouts you can do that are suitable for all levels of fitness. If you have a garden you can workout outside in the sunshine and get some vitamin D at the same time!
7. Take photos of your family/home/nature/pets ๐Ÿ“ธ
If you can get to the yard and aren't rushed for time (I know some yards have strict time limits for each person) but you don't want to ride or can't ride, here's some things you can do:
8. Clean your tack. And by this I mean a proper deep clean - take it apart, soap it, oil it and let it dry. Use a dry towel to buff it after cleaning for an extra shine.
9. Get rid of all the hairs and hay stuck into the velcro of the boots. This is my least favourite of all the jobs and I always put it off as much as possible because I don't have the patience to try to get rid of all the hairs and hay stuck into the velcro. But if you've got the time and the patience, it's a good job to get done!
10. Have a pony spring clean - get rid of moulting hairs, give them a bath (or several as with my horses) and tidy up their mane and tail ✂️

No matter what you choose to do with your time, the health and safety of you and others is most importance. And if you are feeling poorly, even if it's more than likely to be a run of the mill normal cold, please stay home. The quicker we manage to stop the spread of this virus, the sooner we get to get back to riding & get to go out hacking,  training & competing again!
Erik says "stay safe everyone!"

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