Lisa Holohan & Darian Wise - The Covid Edition
05TH Jul, 2020
As I write this, hopefully things are starting to get back to normal a little after everything coming to a grinding halt with the Covid 19 pandemic.
It's funny how so much of the world stopped everything, but as horse owners, that is never an option.
We still have to go about our daily routines and life with horses, albeit minus the shows, clinics and social aspect, so we are quite lucky I guess to not be locked inside with nowhere to go!
Some people have put their horses out for a break during this time, but we have used it to go full steam ahead with training.
Things like lessons, have changed big time for us, as both Darian and I train with Tor and Mel Van Den Berge, who are based in Holland.
Before Covid, Mel & Tor would take it in turns to come home to Australia monthly, so all their clients stayed on track. Obviously, this had to stop so we have started having regular “Virtual” lessons.
To explain how we do this, we purchased a set of blue tooth ear buds which connect to our phone. If Darian is having a lesson, I video call Tor or Mel on WhatsApp and Darian and I both wear one of the earbuds so we can both hear what is being said. It is honestly, just like having a normal lesson only Tor or Mel can’t have a ride if needed. Apparently, we are pretty entertaining for Tor, and he says he always loves to see our names on the weekly lesson list!
An example of this was when I was having a lesson and my earbud started to fall out, and Tor laughed so hard as he said it looked like a developed a mad twitch, trying to catch it with my shoulder before it fell. In my defense, those earbuds are expensive and with my luck, I’d drop it and my horse would stand on it....
Poor Darian had the dubious honour of being the first one of Tor’s students to get bucked off in a lesson on WhatsApp.... Tor got a great laugh that day, and Darian got a sore butt! Ha ha.
Jokes aside, both riders and horses have been going from strength to strength and every lesson gives us plenty of homework until the next. Our young horses have started more strength work and are doing a lot more lateral movements, which they seem to be enjoying.
Darian has also been taking the horses for rides down the back paddock and doing some small jumps, just to vary things up a little and to help with any arena boredom.
I was so surprised at how easy it was to transition to the video lessons as I was concerned it would not be the same. Obviously, having great instructors make it so much easier. Who knows, this may be the way for quite some time as the “new normal”.
It does have a few other positives, as not having to take the horses anywhere saves time as well as allowing our instructors to see how the horses behave at home.
We have a couple who are a bit spookier etc at home and every lesson away, mine is much better behaved, so this way Tor and Mel can see what is going on at home and help us!
Some people have hated not being able to show. I have enjoyed life making us slow down a little and really enjoying our horses again. Cleaning and organising tack, tack rooms, stables etc as well as more time to spend just hanging out with them, has been great although I do miss my horse show friends.
Regardless of what we have all done with our horses during this crazy time, I am positive we are so much better off than the people stuck in isolation in their homes. We have still been outdoors daily, still exercising, still fairly normal as we are responsible for our horses' health, well being and happiness. Life cannot go on hold for our beautiful horses and this is not the first time that I feel my horses have kept me sane!
As we all go back to it gradually, let's try to be supportive of one another, kinder and more encouraging in the show ring and just enjoy being back out there!
Lisa & Darian (and all the ponies)