Here at David Rumsey Dressage we have very much tried to take the current health crisis in our stride, there is no escaping so much has changed for everyone. As the government asks us to prepare for the new normal we have had chance, with a yard effectively closed to everyone, even clients, to slow down and reflect.
Looking for the positives I would say that it has been really nice to spend more time at home with my horses. I have to confess that for the first week I struggled to find direction. Usually we have a show to attend or qualify for, upcoming training, young horses to get out to see the world and clients coming to see sales horses.
To take advantage of the extra free time I have focused on building the horses fitness with a mixture of cross training. We are very lucky to be based in the beautiful Kentish countryside so the horses have been doing plenty of onsite hacking and hill work in the vineyard. I have found this has really helped build their strength and develop suppleness. They have also been working over poles as well as their regular schooling work.
In a busy yard like ours we often bring in outside help where we simply don’t have time ourselves. When this is no longer an option and with no teaching or competing the team have had time to get back to basics and roll up our sleeves. Paddocks have been treated to rolling, harrowing and fencing – which is surprising good for the soul, with a feel good factor on completion. This means the horses can spend more time out in the paddocks which they love. My horses do go out all year round but like many in winter this is less.
I was excited to take delivery of a big skip a few weeks ago, finally I have been able to sort thru stuff I have been hoarding that should probably have been chucked years ago. As a result of this and some painting the yard is looking super tidy and organised.
I guess you could say that the break has been good, we have re-charged batteries, the horses have been on my own version of an army boot camp and the stables have never looked in better condition. In some ways we will come back better, stronger and refreshed, in other ways mentally it is nice to converse with humans as well as horses. Even though we Facetime with clients to show them their horses progress it is by far nicer to converse face to face.
Hopefully is won’t be long before my clinics and training can be safely reintroduced. In the meantime wishing everyone well, David.