As we push through into month 9 of no international clinic giving or even national clinic giving, and the welcome mat for US visitors across the world is now thrown down by only about 3 countries, it is ironic that my hubbie and I renewed passports at the beginning of the year and signed up for expedited airport and global travel access.
As a result of the travel restrictions we were forced to postpone our entire 2020 clinic season. Frankly, we miss the adventures abroad like shown in the video above, and the fun and education of meeting new and familiar faces both giving instruction and taking it.
It's truly weird at this point to not have seen students in person, and to have to rely solely on Apps to keep us connected to the ongoing training of our riders. My husband Paul and myself are very grateful for the hosts that have simply postponed and not cancelled the clinics booked. Meantime, all our remote training session fees are donated to charity, as we do our little bit to help out with the food crisis affecting so many Americans.
Shows have been going on in sporadic fashion. Some with late cancellations (even as late as once competitors are at the event like the Pony Finals at the Kentucky Horse Park and the Vermont Festival at HITS, Saugerties, NY), and event organizers are challenged with making the best of no spectators, difficulty finding sponsors and the additional expenses of following CDC and State protocols for health and safety.
I think at this point many of us are fed up with Zoom and similar platforms. We have exhausted our tolerance for interrupted chat in large groups, that one person that won't shut up no matter how many hints are dropped, and the tiring fuzzy visuals and intermittent halted speech and lost soundbites issues dished up by poor internet speeds.
In general many folks seem on edge. Overreacting to the slightest criticism, no matter how accurate, and taking zero responsibility for their actions. Existing in a bubble of insecurity, challenged perhaps by the effects the Covid-19 crisis has had on their usual lifestyles.
The timing of this crisis couldn't have been more difficult for many of us. But is still important for all of us to be kind to each other, help each other out, and not overreact.
On a personal note my father died over Christmas 2019, and a trip for the funeral in early January to England yielded the result of health issues for Paul and I. Dad was 91 and battling poor health after a bout of pneumonia 2 years ago left him fragile.
So it was not altogether unexpected, but still a shock.
As we expected to need to be able to travel 'at the drop of a hat', we had spent the past 2 years selling off our horse breeding stock, foundation mares and youngstock, to allow ourselves more freedom to travel home to spend time with my elderly parents. We had such limited time to work with the horses under saddle up to that point. Again ironic, as now we have plenty of time at home we could have used to work with them all.
But, I am pleased to report that all the horses are doing well in their new homes - as I reported in my last blog!
We had also prepared ourselves for more travel by not accepting any new horses in training at our farm for 2020, and passed folks on our waiting list onto other colleagues that we trust to do a great job for them.
We had planned on returning to the U.K. in April, to visit with my Mom who is 86, and give her some much needed emotional support. Of course the suspension of travel between the USA and Britain meant that could not happen, and still can't. It is not viable for us to do 2 weeks quarantine on arrival in the UK and then have time left over to spend with family, even if I was able to wear a mask for 13 hours straight. Which I'm not.
As Mom is hard of hearing, has no internet access and even briefly snail mail was not getting through, it has been difficult to stay connected through the last 8 months. It is hard to give her hope as to when we might be able to visit her, and the quarantine restrictions in the UK have made her life ever more lonely.
It is inevitable that everyone faces sincere difficulties during the Covid19 pandemic. Certainly we count our blessings and fully realize we are much more fortunate than most.
Somehow we will all muddle through. For us, our horses at home keeping us sane and occupied. Truly the horse is the very best of therapists!
So chin up - keep going. Stay kind and stay safe and do your bit, however small, to help others in need of help and support.
|This Grand Prix Dressage Duo Won't Be Giving Any On Site Dressage Clinics For Awhile|