Addiction: “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. ” When I chose the name of this blog Horse Addict I understood I was an addict. Horses and riding are my drugs of choice. If I am feeling anxious, or gloomy or upset I know that when I get to the barn I start to feel better. When I am grooming my horse anxiety and gloom start to fall away and after riding, even if it has been a difficult lesson, I feel restored.
But now there is no barn. There is no horse. The barn is closed to the public due to the declaration of a State of Emergency in all provinces in Canada. Staff only are allowed into the barn to care for the horses. My horse Biasini is still in Florida as I choose to delay bringing him home. He will be coming back this month and I am just waiting to get a shipping date from the transport company. But even when he gets here I will not be able to go and see him or ride him. There is no end in sight to this situation. But I understand the need for these restrictions and I agree wholeheartedly that they are necessary.
The Denial and Overachiever Phase.
At the start of the 14 day self isolation that my husband and I were required to do after returning from Florida I was making the best of it. I have been blogging every day about our walks and activities. We kept ourselves busy. We were lucky to have someone who would get groceries for us. I was going to maintain my fitness level. I was going to blog everyday and let people know that self isolation was do-able. I was the perfect self isolationist!
The Reality Phase and Withdrawal sets in.
Last night I watched the National news program on the CBC at 10 pm. The numbers are chilling. Canada is not as bad as some other countries but they are expecting the numbers to go up dramatically. I went to bed and read for a bit. I went to sleep. About half an hour later I woke up. Then the reality hit me. If all events in Toronto have been cancelled till the end of June the State of Emergency was probably going to last that long. It could be July or later before I would be able to ride.
My mind descended into a black hole. Before I knew it, it was 3 am ,and I was still awake. How was I going to deal with it? No horses. No riding. No Biasini. As I twirled down into that black hole with the black dogs nipping at my heels I knew I had to do something. I remembered that I had videos to watch and could relive my riding through those.
The Attitude of Gratitude
I am not a migrant worker in India crouched on the ground while being hosed down with disinfectant. I am not a mother, with small children, in a Syrian refugee camp where CV19 will be the grimmest of grim reapers. I am not the owner of a small business, that I have taken years to build up, and now unable to pay my rent, I am closing the door on my business. I have a roof over my head. I can afford to get groceries. I can pay my bills. Outside my windows I can see fields and trees. I am exceptionally lucky.
I will get back to riding . Biasini will be well cared for and ridden by my Canadian coach Belinda Trussell, who owns Oakcrest Farm,while the lockdown continues. I give thanks for all of this.
And I have my videos. Here are two. Just for translation here are things Coach Lou says: “the bounce” is an expression he has borrowed from Belinda and refers to a very collected pirouette canter . The “knot” refers to the rein knot that can be in the center of Biasini’s neck or on left or right . For more on this knot see “The Lesson That Never Ends.” “He’s piaffing now” does not mean he is actually piaffing, it means he is evading by over collecting and getting behind my leg aids.
Thank you Kara Riley-King for the photos and videos of my lessons with Lou.