This blog marks my first full year of sharing stories based around Diva and her stablemates, and it marks a very surreal and increasingly alarming time in the history of the world.

Covid-19 has spread across the continents at alarming speed and the consequences of this are changing every day.

Our showing plans have understandably been halted, and so I will keep Diva occupied by practicing Shetland pony agility with her as I intend becoming an instructor for this fun way of keeping your ponies occupied.

I will keep you informed of our progress. Working on the ground with any horse will increase the bond, and I have always been a firm believer in lunging and long reining as part of a young horse’s or pony’s education.

And even older ones can benefit from ground work.

I took Diva for a walk on Saturday along the same route as last week. We observed social distancing from any we met, which was a shame as people love to stroke Diva and she loves the attention.

A couple of older ladies passed us and exclaimed on spotting Diva, ‘Oh! This must be the pony we were told about’.

It’s nice to know that Diva is becoming a little bit famous in the local village.

I decided that despite Florence being roughed off for the winter, I couldn’t bear to look at her scruffy hog, feathers and tail for a moment longer and so spent a happy session tidying her up.

I use a Smart Tails rake on her tail as I have never really got the hang of pulling it. There was a small patch where it had been rubbed, but overall I am pleased with my results.

The secret is to get some shape into it and not go super short so that the hair will lie flat. The photo is before a tail bandage had been put on, but it is still nice and tidy.

At the yard we have hand wash and anti-viral solutions for us to use on arrival and departure.

We are all worried about the consequences of possible further restrictions having to be put in place, as despite everything, our horses will need tending to at least twice daily.

Finally, we are having some dry and sunny weather and subsequently the very deep sloppy mud in the field is becoming stickier and stickier to walk through.

Diva didn’t want to come in tonight, and I am unsure if this was because she finds it hard to go through the mud with her little legs or if it was simply that the grass is starting to grow.

She galloped up to the gate only after Mabel and Florence were led away, and then she practically pulled me all the way to the stable. Yes, some groundwork lessons will be useful, I think, as she is getting a little cheeky.

I hope everyone stays safe and that coronavirus can be contained in the coming weeks.

A joke seen on social media has certainly got it right by saying that equestrians have been practicing social distancing for years, since we are given a wide berth in queues because of our horsey aroma!


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