Lockdown Experience with FOMO Freshman Catherine Margree and Morgan Brand

Lockdown Experience with FOMO Freshman Catherine Margree and Morgan Brand

Catherine Margree

I am lucky enough that my yard still lets me come and ride Drum as she’s used to being ridden every day but now, we are only allowed to come down three times a week.  She does still get ridden but it’s a lot more relaxed so we are doing lots of hacking and exploring around and she is loving life in the field with her buddy Rosie, who is also very excited to have a break for a while.

While this pandemic is going on, I’ve been focusing on getting her to work in the correct frame and carrying her head in the correct way. We have also been doing lots of bare back and liberty work which we use to de-stress and to bond.

My day to day life has not changed much except I now don’t go to school. I work from home which I like more as I finish earlier which means I can go to the yard earlier. At my yard we now have a rota and at the moment, we go on Monday, Friday and Sunday which is nice because it’s evenly spread out. To start with Drum was a bit confused but she soon settled into the swing of things. It’s been nice these last few weeks because we can work outside in just a T-shirt which is very unusual for us in the UK.

Sometimes I forget that this will not be forever, that’s it’s only temporary and it’s for the best.  Without it we would all be at a serious health risk and that’s one of the most important things to remember.  If you are total stuck inside remember it’ll all be over soon and you’ll be back doing what you love before long.  People are being so generous and it’s so nice to see that when things get tough, people pull together to support each other.

I’m already getting excited about the warmer weather and being able to work outside in T-shirt and shorts and to get out to a couple of local shows, maybe if they don’t get cancelled.

Focus on the positives and the good things to come and don’t drag yourself down about the situation right now because it’ll end and everything will go back to normal. Keep your head up and keep going.

Morgan Brand 

My name’s Morgan, I’m an 18 year old show jumper from south east England.

I currently have competition blues but at least lockdown gives us plenty of time to get ourselves on top form for when our season (eventually) starts.

I’m really lucky to be on a friends yard, so it’s all family run, chilled out and fun but with some restrictions in place; no hacking, no sharing tack and wearing of gloves when using mucking out tools.  We are lucky that we haven’t had our routines altered too much.
My day usually starts by searching for shoes she decides she doesn’t want and stitching rugs that aren’t fashionable enough to be wearing in the field!

The stables are still it’s usual busy crazy yard, where we are all still getting our ponies fit, perfecting our flatwork and working on our jump off turns which is all coming in very handy. We’re still training ready to come back into shows on top form.  This situation has given us lots of free time to get some photo shoots done too. We usually pick a day where it’s going to be sunny and we choose a nice matchy set.  Most of the time we do it in the jump field but once lockdown is over, we’re going to head to our local beach and get some sunset shots.  We also spend quite a lot of time making tiktoks with the ponies which is always good fun

We have slightly decreased our work “expectations” for our ponies and are letting them chill out a bit more, allowing them to have a bit more fun but still keeping them fit.
I usually spend quite a bit of time on Instagram, and have almost 3 thousand followers, I love seeing people reviewing things they’ve been sent, people’s daily yard routines, jump exercises and especially numnah collections.  It’s so easy to get disheartened when things go wrong, but with there being no shows, there’s lots of time to practise and with no pressure.

I’ve only had Daisy since the second of week of January this year so really, as bad as it is, the pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m building a bond with her and getting her muscle and fitness up which all takes time.
My plans are to one day event her, she was very green when I got her (and nothing like what her advert said) so slow and steady this year I think.   She has taken a real liking to show jumping and cross country and we usually build log piles and go through our local stream and she loves it. She’s so brave and I’m thankful for that.

Fingers crossed for lockdown to soon be over so we can all get back to normality and can see some of you out competing!

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