April 20, 2020

Steps Toward Normal

Here in Indiana, we've done such a good job pushing back the peak of COVID-19 (although jury is still out on whether we flattened the curve or not), our hospitals are feeling confident that they can handle it now, whenever that happens. And that means our governor is starting to discuss very slowly lifting the stay at home restrictions, likely beginning May 1, and in conjunction with 7 other surrounding states.

Ventilator utilization in the state of Indiana as of Saturday, April 18

My barn never did close to boarders even though a lot of Indiana barns did, so it's entirely up to me when I go back. I'm still not worried about myself getting it, only about doing my part to stop the spread. I agree with our governor, that now that we've given the hospitals enough of a head start, we need to start thinking about sustainable ways to continue social distancing indefinitely, and for me, the barn is going to be part of that as soon as he says "go".

No barn time has meant spending lots of time with this dashing fellow

That's not to say I'm going to go back and act like everything is normal. It's not, and it won't be for a long time. It's now warm enough (60's all this week) and light enough (til 8:30pm already!) that I can continue to tack up at my trailer all summer. With it being parked in between the indoor and the outdoor, that's really not inconveniencing me at all.

Going to get some rubber mats to keep the little guy comfy here even though he's perfectly sound on gravel

Additionally, if I use the outdoor wash rack, use my personal hose and nozzle, don't use the Pixio, avoid using the restroom (not hard when my house is 10 minutes away), ride in the outdoor as much as possible, and use the biothane halter and lead I'm keeping in my truck, the only shared surfaces I'll need to touch is my horse's body, a gate latch, and a water spigot, and I should be able to avoid going into the building entirely. Those are all indefinitely sustainable compromises that I'd make cheerfully.

This pic is 3 years old (we now have rubber mats in the wash rack!) but you can see the outside wash rack hitching post just outside the door here. PC: My mom

It feels good to start taking even mental steps toward going back to the barn, so naturally I started thinking what's going to make tacking up at the trailer easier, safer, and more comfortable for both of us, which naturally led into some #retailtherapy...


  1. sounds like a good plan. I have continued to ride, but have opted to use my stall (on the outside of our barn) vs. the main barn area with crossties whenever someone else is there. This way, I have the opportunity to sanitize the crossties before and after use.

  2. Tacking up at your trailer is a great idea! Also your pup is so cute, I don't often see large horses frog sitting like my little Fred does.

  3. Just so you know Tractor Supply has smaller mats (4 x 3 I think) https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/utility-rubber-mat-black-4-ft-x-3-ft-x--frac12-in?cm_vc=-10005 that are only like 26 bucks and would do nicely for a place for him to stand at the trailer (I just bought some for my donkeys who continue to poo in my gravel) easy to move and handle too but heavy enough for him to stand on! I hope you are back with him sooner rather than later. I too tack up in my stall only cause i dont have a trailer now (I thought about tacking up at my truck the other day) and wipe all down when i am done. Also tractor supply is doing curbsite contactless pickup. Ask me how i know! :) GOOD LUCK!

    1. No TSCs within 45 minutes of here! Just Rural King here for us country bumpkins.

  4. I'm glad you'll be able to ride your horse soon!

  5. My boyfriend and myself are planning to maintain strict social distancing even once things open back up. Our governor has already opened up some things including golf courses (which makes sense as long as social distancing is maintained) so my barn opened with a schedule. Unfortunately I got the morning time slot and since I'm working (from home) and very busy I will only be able to go on the weekend but even that is AMAZING compared to being completely unable to go.

    I'm really hopeful they don't open up things too quickly and our plan is to continue to order groceries vs. spending any time at grocery stores. We're also going to continue to work from home (at least as much as we can) so basically the only thing that will change is that I'll go to the barn on the weekend for now and more often once I move barns. I'm going to be taking many of the same precautions you are though and this weekend when I go I'm going to stay almost entirely outside other than accessing my tack locker.

  6. I live in a very isolated town so I think we're going to be restricted for a long time yet - our hospital is quite small per the capita of 30,000 (mostly retirees). In normal circumstances we'd travel to Vancouver for most kinds of hospital intensive care, which involves airplane or ferries. I'm not sure how those logistics would work now! I think your plan sounds great and I hope you're able to return to a semi normal routine soon.

  7. I was thinking about when I would go back to the barn (when gathering of small groups of 10 is allowed) and what that will look like. Since I share my horse with 2 other people and my tack is stored in barn tack rooms (not that anyone but my lessers touch it, and they have their own saddle), I'll have to think about how I want to keep everything clean. Might be as simple as supplying some wipes and asking them to wear their riding gloves for their whole visit. I'll have to give it some more thought.

  8. Oh man... A cliffhanger!
    We are first hitting our peak right now, so I'm not ready to start horsing again. But I hope it's not too much longer.