The new plan for 2020

When this year started, I was very, very excited about the plans that I had made for the year and I can't remember when I’d ever felt better or more prepared for the competition season with my horses. I had weddings in America and Majorca to look forward to as well as my brother competing in the 2020 Olympics and therefore a trip to Japan was also planned! I had so many plans for arena hires, hacking out and competing once I'd had the flu jabs done for all the horses in mid-March. And then Covid-19 hit the UK. Of course, whatever great ideas I’d had were thrown out the window, and after nearly two months of grieving for a year where everything is cancelled or postponed, I feel like I need to make a whole new plan for 2020. And with more change coming soon (I cannot wait to share with you all about this, it's SO exciting) here's the new plan for 2020 👇🏻

The plan for Vallu:
I'd planned on hacking out, going to the gallops as well as doing the E-Riders veteran series competitions with him. Nothing too stressful for me and nothing too strenuous for him and his legs, and to be fair this won't be changing much apart from getting the chance to take him out hacking in the local woods or going to the gallops. Despite the fact that taking your horse out for a lesson/hack is now deemed to be okay, I don't feel comfortable enough yet doing so as we should still be staying at home as much as possible. Luckily, I'm fortunate in the fact that I can ride him around our bigger back field which can temporarily replace our hacking out plans! He just gets slightly more time in his paddock than I'd originally planned.
The plan for Erik:
The new plan for 2020 with Erik is to just focus on putting in the time to make him as strong and adjustable and relaxed as possible and for his injured leg to be able to cope with the advanced level training and competing that I want to do. When we come out on the other side of the pandemic, maybe I’ll have a few lessons with him to see how the leg copes and then if everything is good then look at a few arena hires before even thinking or looking at competing. In the meantime, I'll carry on working hard on the basics, making sure he has the strongest body possible and that he continues to put on all the muscle that he lost due to his time off and over the winter.
Not looking too bad here!
The plan for Melisse
Well at the moment we are still navigating her pollen allergies and being in season and trying to get her as comfortable as possible, it's a mixture of trying to balance her Piriton pills, riding as late as possible, not riding her when she's in season, lunging her when she has too much energy. Some weeks are more successful than others, but I don't feel ready to have lessons with her yet until the pollen levels go down more. Once that's over I'll get back to having lessons and doing arena hires. I don't know if this year's competition season will ever re-start, so we might end up not competing until next spring. Luckily for me I love the training aspect more than competing, so I'm more than happy to carry on working hard at home.
And the plan for me?
Now that the British Equestrian Federation has recommend riding again, it's time for me to pick up everyone back to full work. At the time of the peak of the virus in the UK I was only riding each horse 2-3 times a week in order to reduce the chance of me falling off and requiring the NHS. All three had extra days off and were lunged more, but now the plan is to ride a lot more and get us all fitter again. A non-horsey plan is to continue to pursue a healthier diet. I even made some resolutions about being a lot healthier in general but frankly the stress of coronavirus has me looking forward to a daily cider/vodka coke/G&T as well as the goods that my mum's stress baking has delivered (aka the most amazing home made breads, cakes, cookies) so the healthy diet went AWOL for a bit! But it's back now 🙌🏻 Another part of my new plan for 2020 is to remind myself that it is absolutely OK to not be OK. The pandemic is frightening, anxiety-producing, and plan-altering. It is OK to not feel alright with it and that’s the message I’ve been trying hard to get my brain to realise and accept.

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