When the last Global CDI was canceled in mid March, it finally hit me that the world of Dressage and life as I knew it, were going to change dramatically. I had been busy riding my equine partners, Hemmingway and Zeaball, and training for our upcoming season when I noticed more news about Covid-19 on television. My parents also started talking about it more frequently, but it didn’t strike me as real until the Wellington season got shut down. When both the Olympics and World Cup were then canceled, I realized that this pandemic was very serious.
Suddenly, there were no more social gatherings or daily trips to Starbucks with my friends, something we had all taken for granted until now. My school, Palm Beach International Academy, closed and I became a full-time, online student like many others. Face masks became mandatory around the barn, and social distancing of at least 6 feet apart or more, became our new normal.
In adjusting to these big, life changes, it’s been important for me to find positive aspects to focus on: Simple basics like being able to hack in a beautiful environment and easily maintain 6 feet distance from others; the ability to still run everyday, and Florida’s warm weather, which all guarantee much-needed Vitamin D. As I can only go to the barn or home, I am missing my friends and all of our activities. However, I realize that the additional hours offer a great opportunity of extra bonding time with my horses. Quiet moments with my newer equine team mates, Sky Man and Hemmingway, help me get to know them better, and nothing is more relaxing than hanging out with Zeaball as he grazes nearby.
Focusing on the positive helps me find my silver lining to this Covid-19 cloud each day. While we wait to see what the future holds, I am hopeful that we’ll all be back in the saddle (and competing again) soon. I hope everyone stays safe during these times.