COVID-19 Life of an Eventer

COVID-19 has certainly changed the landscape for many things, including professional horse riders and coaches. Our sponsored rider Claire McDermott has given us an update on how she has spent the last 3 months.

Hi everyone, just thought I'd do a little update on life for myself and the horses during the COVID-19 lockdown!

Shepparton Showjumping in March was my last show, with event shutting down from the following week. Whilst this was quite disappointing as I have very big plans for the rest of the season, it simply meant that goals were to be readjusted. Something that horse people are relatively good at doing anyway!

Most of the horses got 2-3 weeks off and then came back into light work. I wasn't too keen on turning them out for a long spell, as they were competition fit and I like to keep them going according to a usual year schedule. They normally have a proper break in winter once the seasons are finished and I thought I may as well keep planning for that and make the most of the good weather we were having! I've also been able to bring some of my youngsters into a bit more work rather than their usual sporadic schedule! As a result I currently have 10 in work.

It's actually been quite nice being at home for weekends! Normally I probably have about 5 off all year, so this has been a totally different world. We have been getting lots of items done on the property which have been on the "to do" list for quite some time! It's also been nice to have the pressure taken off myself and the horses. With them only being in lighter work, it doesn't matter if they get a couple of extra days off if I need to get other things done according to the weather etc.

I've been lucky enough to keep teaching off property in the Yarra Valley for most of the time through the lockdown (of course maintaining social distancing etc). Now that restrictions have eased somewhat it has also been nice to be able to have clients travel to my place in Lilydale again for their lessons.

I've been able to have my dressage instructor come to my property to teach me which has been excellent, and my jumping lessons have just started back too. So I'm looking forward to keeping the horses going for another 4-6 weeks before the experienced once have a holiday. At that stage I have a few more to break in so certainly no break for me!

I hope everyone has been keeping safe and well during these very uncertain times! I am looking forward to getting back out into the competition ring and seeing everyone when events are allowed again.

As always I'd like to thank Tacklet for their sponsorship of myself and my lovely horses!

Claire

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