Well, we are now in the second State of Emergency since the Covid Pandemic began almost a year ago. What does this mean for me? It means I can still go to the barn and ride Biasini as we are permitted to “care for and ride our animals”. But lessons are not permitted. I believe this is to stop the spread of Covid in stables where they have group lessons and if the lessons are for children it will mean their parents will also be in the barn . This adds considerably to the numbers of people gathering. The new lockdown restricts the number of people who can gather together to 5. So this would not be possible for a riding school situation. While Oakcrest Farm, where I ride and train with the owner Belinda Trussell , is not a riding school and all of the boarders own their horses and train with Belinda , in private lessons, we must still adhere to the lockdown restrictions. The Covid numbers in Ontario have been rocketing upwards. Our Provincial government feels that the only way to curtail this increase, and to maintain the healthcare system, is to institute another Emergency level lockdown.
The lockdown started on January 14. My last lesson with Belinda was on January 12. We worked on a tricky exercise; down the longside of the arena in canter, renvers, straighten and flying change, two or three strides of canter and renvers, straighten and flying change again. This exercise made Biasini so excited and sensitive he was doing flying changes I was not asking for, even some ones! So to settle him, we just worked on some canter, on a 20 meter circle, and then down the longside and a tiny renvers before coming back to trot. Belinda told me I was going to have to learn how to ride this very sensitive horse. Just moving my leg an inch, just one inch, could be interpreted by him as the aid for a change. This is exciting stuff! So it is hard to know that now there will not be any more lessons and I will not have Belinda’s help for… well who knows how long the lockdown will go on for. Here is a video of part of our lesson on January 12.
I hope we will not be in lockdown too long and in the meantime I am lucky to be able to continue riding on my own. I will just have to be diligent and remember how to ride the sensitive horse!
*Feature photo by Lexi Bradbury Photography*