Phoebe Kett Blog Update
I realise I have been a bit MIA recently, and this is sadly because I caught Covid-19 which resulted in me having to take over a month off from horses (and life in general).
I went into the new month, which at this point was August, nervously waiting for my A Level results (which turned out to be a lot better than expected!), being excited about going to Boardmasters festival to celebrate said A-Level results along with finishing Sixth Form and working towards Petplan areas at the end of the month.
However, I never actually made it to Petplan as while I was at Boardmasters I picked up Covid 19. I am sure I am not the only equestrian who has had to put their life on hold from this awful virus so I thought that I would talk about my experience of being unwell with Covid and how frustrating the recovery can be.
From my personal experience I struggled with a cough and wheezy chest as a predominant symptom which rendered me pretty useless when I was trying to do anything physical. The first time I went back to the yard for pony cuddles after I came out of isolation, I could walk probably around 600m before I was exhausted and had to sit down on the floor. This was when I realised the true extent to what Covid could do to an individual where in the greater scheme of things I came off pretty lightly compared to some. I did not get on a horse for over a month which for me was probably the most difficult part of it all as if you have read my previous blogs, you would know that my horses are effectively my ‘happy place’ and being too unwell to even walk properly really frustrated me.
The first day that I rode both of my gorgeous girlies in the same day I came home and had a three and a half hour nap. I found myself getting very frustrated at how physically weak I had become which then in turn did start to affect my mental health slightly, I also had to leave my job at the local pub as physically I couldn’t handle the workload of having a job and horses, but by being solution focussed I overcame the frustration in my head and I let myself be weaker and unwell because at the end of the day I am not going to just bounce back from having Covid.
So, getting back onto the horses. I have initially started by hacking Evita. Followed by a stretchy school for her the next day and then I got on little Missy, who (thanks to the incredible Olivia Oakeley) has come on so much in the past few months she is really starting to feel like a really smart little horse. Right now, I am just focussing on having fun with my girls and getting my confidence and strength up again by doing lots of hacking with little Missy (who really is the best fun) and by easing myself back into the harder work with Evita. After a week of riding both girls every day, on 26th September I took Evita to a lesson with Jess Gale at Froxfield dressage sales and Evita was incredible! We focussed on the adaptability within the lateral work where I would bring the trot forward and back and increased or decreased the angle to keep Evita listening and on her toes.
We also played with my body positioning in the half pass where we discovered that I have a tendency to sit more on my left seat bone, which especially in the right half pass makes life that little bit tricker for Evita which then causes me to over ride the movement and can irritate Evita, eventually causing her to take over control. But we fixed this problem by making me very aware of my positioning and if Evita ever took over, I would push her away off my inside leg against the direction of movement so she had to step away and would therefore have to listen to me. We finished the lesson with a pretty much spot on half pass each way, which really filled me with confidence as the half pass is a movement that I tend to struggle with.
I want to finish this blog by saying a huge thank you to Horse Quest for being so supportive while I was off games with Covid and of course for the bursary money that I put towards this lesson. I hope everyone reading my blog is well and I will write again soon.