Horses on Lockdown

Now, there are numerous social media posts relating our current experience of lockdown and how alike it is to horses being confined to stables – especially through winter. This has definitely crossed my mind, on multiple occasions. Finally she shouts; horse owners who think it is perfectly acceptable to put a flight animal in a 12x12 box alone, in its own wee and poo for nearly 24 hours a day, only being allowed out for their daily exercise, are now getting a taste of their own medicine! This isn’t going to be a rant about horses owners who have different methods of keeping them or our beliefs about how horses should be cared for – but hey maybe lock down has meant we’ve stopped holding our tongues as much!

Instead, this is a post about what we can learn from the horses that are in situations like this.

Horses are incredible at adapting and submitting to the situations and environments they are put in. For example, if given free choice a horse would not choose to stand in its stable for 24 hours a day, yet when they have no other choice, (because we might ruin the ground or the grass!!) they just seem to cope. How?! Seen as people there are so many going out of their minds. They cope because they adapt, they focus on their needs (and those only), they enjoy the moments, enjoy their time exercising and are grateful for what they do have in that space.

To take inspiration from how horses cope in lock down, we can therefore create 5 simple steps on how people can continue to get through this!

  • Learn to adapt. Stop reminding yourself about all the cool places you went, what restaurant or pub you would want to go to and how often you used to be out the house. Instead, adapt to what the current situation is. How we deal with change is a matter of mindset (which isn’t always easy). To adapt to the current situation only focus on that and do not compare it to outside of lock down. Compare your weeks or days in lock down to one another.

  • Focus on what you actually REALLY need at the moment, not want. What you need is food, water, sleep, and exercise. All of these things, can be achieved on lock down, so why put our ever increasing standards and expectations onto them? The best way to achieve harmony is through being mindful, enjoying the moment, the small things and letting go of expectations.

  • Be grateful for what you have. Do you have food? Your health? A roof over your head? Comfortable sofas? Netflix? The internet? Books to read? Family at home? Stop focussing on what you don’t have ( freedom, ability to go to work, socialise in person) and start looking at the amazing things you do have. Not everyone doing lockdown will have those luxuries.

  • Enjoy the small moments. Enjoy the little things. That’s it! Horses are fabulous at this.

  • Enjoy the hour you have out in nature and exercising. Find ways of taking this home, whether is replaying it in your mind, taking photos and videos or even recording the sounds.

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