Making Use of Lockdown

The second blog… I was always planning on this one being full of competition updates and tales of my time working with Bedmax at Badminton Horse Trails, but I guess 2020 has different ideas!

We’ve now been in ‘lockdown’ for nearly two months and despite it taking some getting used to, there are actually elements that I have quite enjoyed. It’s allowed me to really focus on my training, without the looming pressure of competitions! It has also enabled me to get on top of all the jobs in life that I would perhaps put at the bottom of the list before.
The tack room has had a deep clean and everything that I no longer use from the eventing days has gone to a loving new home. Plus, I’ve even been able to concentrate on keeping myself fit! Exercise always manages to work its way to the bottom of the to do list when you’re busy; but not in lockdown! I’ve been using Bedmax bales to create a makeshift gym and where possible, I’ve tried to run 5k three times a week. It’s actually refreshing to work outside, rather than in a gym.
The virus has caused a few hiccups in my life, but I’m lucky to be fit and healthy which is of course most important right now! Lockdown coincided with the week that I was meant to start my first full-time event management job since graduating from university, so unfortunately, they had to let me go. The events industry is going to be heavily affected by this pandemic, so it wouldn’t be viable for me to sit around with not much to do.
It’s a real shame, but they have assured me that the job is still mine as soon as there are events to be planned. As much as I was gutted, I did then realise that week time competitions will now be a possibility again- every cloud!! My first batch of Bedmax Shavings also arrived this week, so that made everything better!
This year is my last in Youth teams, having ridden for the South West and England since I was 12 year sold. BD South West and the whole of Youth has been such a big part of my life for so long and I have made friends for life from across every region. After such a successful season last year in Youth, both mounted and dismounted, I was really looking forward to one last year of teams with my new horse Twix.
However, all the team competitions for the summer have indeed been cancelled for obvious reasons. I’m absolutely gutted as these are the highlight of my summer, but I’ll still fulfil my role as ambassadors when I move out of U25s. I guess it’s not how I ever planned my last year in Youth, but I won’t forget it! It’s spurred me on even more to aim for High Profile and Premier League Shows when they start back up!
During lockdown, we have been following a rota at the yard to ensure that each livery rides at a separate time. It’s worked really efficiently, and it’s actually done me the world of good to have a time to stick to. Admittedly, I did have to be given the biggest slot before lunch as I do tend to doodle around with Twix and end up being behind schedule. Twix is now officially back out in the field every day and he is loving life so much more for it!
He goes out first thing each morning… There’s no way he’s not either! He loves routine, so when I booked the farrier for only an hour after he’d gone out; you can imagine the gelding grump he had. I also bought him a very snazzy fly rug (shown in photo) which he proudly showcases to all his rather more fashionable friends in the surrounding fields.
His work is coming on leaps and bounds and we are really starting to get to grips with the more advanced movements. I am super lucky to have my trainer Alex Harrison living on site at the yard, so this period has given me the chance to knuckle down with him and iron out our weak parts. There’s still some entertaining moments when Twix would rather do what he pleases, but it makes us laugh!
We are starting to confidently understand each other buttons and expectations. There’s not a session that I don’t finish with a smile on my face. He is the ultimate dude! Our aim is to contest in a few Advance Medium classes whilst we gel at competitions, and then we’re cracking on to the tails dream! The virus has highlighted that life is far too short to chase your dreams, so the tailcoat will be worn this year!!
I’m hopeful that in a month’s time, I may be starting to enter competitions. Who knows at this stage, but it’s a step forward to see that trainers are now allowed to go back to work and venues are starting to open. I’m very much of the mindset that we have been in this for a decent length of time now, so we may as well stick it out to ensure that the virus doesn’t peak again!
In the meantime, Twix and I will continue to enjoy bonding in the sunshine, having a snooze on a bed of Bedmax and cracking on with the training. I hope that everyone is keeping safe!

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