Life (And Horses?) During the Pandemic

I'm going to attempt to address the elephant in the room, if for no other reason than my own posterity. I'm trying hard to be empathetic, and to listen. Sometimes I don't agree with what people have to say. Sometimes the things they say (or write) really hurts. I think it's important to remember that not everyone is experiencing this the same as you personally are. I try and keep that in mind.

Biased, he's my favorite

I live in a city, which means I'm forced to coexist with the virus and all kinds of people and their opinions on it. My wife and I do not wear masks when we're out walking the dog, as typically we are able to maintain twenty feet of distance from everyone. But there are still times when we have to pass someone on the sidewalk and they scuttle away from us like we're roaches. On the other side of the coin, we have to change our habits to avoid throngs of people clumped on the sidewalk protesting. To be honest, both sides bother me. As much as I'm bothered by the vitriol I truly believe we're entitled to our own opinions, and you (the royal You) have as much a right to think and say them as I do to judge you for it.

The lack of traffic freaks me out

I worry about people being permanently debilitated or killed by this disease, and I also worry about people I care about losing their jobs. I worry about my community, and my neighbors. I fret about what will happen next month, next year, or the next ten years. I've gotten to the point where it doesn't keep me up at night anymore but I still feel an overwhelming sadness when I think of everything (and everyone) we've lost. I worry about the cavalier attitude many people seem to have about death.

I count myself very lucky during this time, if it's possible to still feel lucky when your entire world is turned upside down. My barn has remained open. It's a private farm, who the heck would she be closed to? I'm the only one there. My company pledged not to lay anyone off due to the pandemic. I exhaled a breath I hadn't known I was holding. We were working from home before everything got officially closed down. In the beginning it was awesome, I was getting to see my horse so much! There's less traffic, I have more flexible work hours, I'm not spending any time commuting. But after a week or two I stopped going out so much.


When I suffered my really bad car accident in 2017, it really changed the way I felt about driving. I never, ever feel safe in the car. I never feel guaranteed to make it to my destination. I still have PTSD flashbacks and I have to work every time I get behind the wheel. The pandemic has only made this a thousand times worse. People are driving so fucking erratically there are times I've had to pull over to collect myself. The drive to my barn is mostly highway, and while I cruise at 65-70 I am frequently blown past by people going significantly faster. They weave through what little traffic their is and revel in the fact that normally bumper to bumper 6 lane highways are now completely open; their own personal Autobahn. There are days I'd love to go to the barn and see my horse but it's not worth it to me to get behind the wheel.

The days I am brave enough to go out, Spicy is an enormous light in my heart. He is not perfect. He is not easy. He is not a horse you can just bum around on. When I work with him he forces me to practice the most perfect, absolute mindfulness I can manage. When I have the lead rope in my hands there aren't groups of people flouting mandates designed to keep us safe. There isn't angry rhetoric for or against masks. There's just the sun and the feel of the yacht rope in my hand and awareness of my own self carriage. Peaceful moments are few and far between, and I'm not going to take them for granted.


  1. You have a really great point that we're all experiencing this in different ways -- your experiences in a city are very different than my experiences in a very rural county... so the decisions we make will probably be very different and that's okay. But, like you, I am also finding a lot of solace in the barn, because I need to be 100% present there in a way I am not in most other areas of my life right now. Hugs to you and Spicy.

    1. It's amazing how being present has become this amazing gift the ponies can give us. That's just how they live their lives (sometimes....... a little too much..... like I'd love spicy to be 5% less present)

  2. Ugh the drivers have been terrible around here too! I'm so sorry it's affecting your barn time, I was in a car accident, not nearly as bad as yours, about 15 years ago and I still get butterflies when I get taken around corners too fast (I flipped my car but luckily walked away without a scratch).

    We're doing okay here, but I feel you on being somewhere in the middle. I find myself rolling my eyes at people who want to police other people so intensely (especially when seeing a few people who kept their horses at home ranting about how people were still going to their barns) but boy are the conspiracy theorists a bit much, Bill Gates is not trying to kill us all with a vaccine, nor is this *just* the flu, nor is the entire world conspiring to mess with the US election.

    I'm also finding the barn to be the most normal feeling I get on a regular basis, it's nice to just turn my brain off and hang out there every day :) I love that halter btw! And he's the most handsome.

    1. You totally hit it - the barn is still 'normal'. I suspect that some of our ideas of what's normal are gone forever, so that makes it even more precious!

      The halter is fab - I'm finally gearing up to do a review on it after having it for a year :P

  3. Thank you for this post. I think a lot of people have forgotten that people can think differently and not be called foul names because of it. On both sides of this. My favorite article stated that we may all be going through the same storm but we aren't all in the same boat. I'm tired of a lot of things, but mostly I'm tired of the anger, the mean spirited posts and actions and the loss of humanity that I have seen online and in person. Being kind seems to only work when life is perfect.

    1. I agree. And I definitely lose my temper - mostly when I feel like people are being really fucking flippant about the loss of life - but I'm trying not to yell AT them about what a sociopath they're being even though I really really (really) want to...

  4. I have held my tongue a few times the past few weeks. I have not worn a mask when I've gone out (grand total of 5 times) but I'm not anywhere near anyone either. When our office reopens masking will be required and that will be fine. I'm pro-mask but more 'pro-mask-when-it's-logical' :)


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