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Five ways horsey people are already social distancing pros

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Girl on phone holding horse

How many times have you cancelled social plans in favour of horsey ones? We’re betting it’s more than once. Here’s why equestrians have social distancing sussed

As a country, if not a planet, we’re all working towards a common goal of halting the spread of a new coronavirus via a phenomenon called social distancing. This means staying at home and only leaving the house when essential to limit the spread of the virus.

While this is a huge lifestyle change for some (and we should all do our bit to follow these guidelines), here’s why the above might sound like business as usual for the equestrian community…

  1. We’re extreme morning people It’s true what they say – the early bird catches the worm and the pre-7am rider misses the rain. We’re used to sneaking out of the house when it’s barely light to get a horse fed, mucked out and ridden before work without seeing a single soul, and it’s bliss.
  2. We also get in pretty late You know how it is. One thing leads to another and before you know it ‘stopping in to see your horse’ turns into an hour-long soliloquy about your day (delivered entirely to your equine bestie), a thorough groom and the bag of carrots you bought for tonight’s dinner deposited one-by-one into your very lucky horse. By the time you leave the yard it’s a ghost town, and on entering your house you realise A) everyone’s just about ready to turn in and B) you’re starving and not in a position to speak to anyone until your belly’s full.
  3. We’re masters of stealth If you want to sneak through the yard unseen (and unspoken to), you know exactly how to do it. Whether it’s lurking at the barn door waiting for the school to be free or slipping past the tack room to avoid getting trapped in there with people eager to discuss the results, analyse the footage and read aloud from the scoresheet of their last dressage outing, your skills are practically ninja level.
  4. We’re massive flakes Sometimes our horses take precedence – it’s a fact of life. We can’t predict when they’re going to throw a shoe, sustain a cut in the field or do a one fewer poos than we’d like, and when disaster strikes then alas… we must bail. Sometimes it’s because there’s sun in the forecast and we’d rather be riding than brunching, but our pals don’t need to know that.
  5. We don’t always smell our best To us, the smell of horse is like the smell of home. To the uninitiated, we pong. And that’s enough to keep anyone at least two metres away.

For serious social distancing guidelines, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

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