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Rationale for Showing, or not, During the Pandemic

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    #21
    I like outerbanks77 response. I have three competitions this year --one is over (end of May) and two are up coming --all in different states. But our venues for Mounted Archery are more "open" than the horse shows and horse trails we attended with the kids in the past. Stabling is wide spread (often high-line), and we stay farther apart as competitors --need a bit of room for carrying bows and arrows on a horse that is ridden hands free. Spectators are not as many. Off the horse, I stay at the trailer --put a couple of chairs out at a safe distance from each other, wear my mask, and ask that others keep a safe distance from me. I go because otherwise I would see no one but my DH and my horses. We are really rural here --last long conversation I had with another human other than DH was with the farrier. I definitely wear a mask at every gas station and gloves and hand sanitize after --pack my own food --and keep a safe distance!!

    Comment


      #22
      I personally would not hesitate at the venues I usually showed at. I think Dressage is one of the most socially isolating disciplines. With more and more information coming out about contact and risk, I think the average warm up ring and venue with outdoor stabling is fine.
      _\\]
      -- * > hoopoe
      Procrastinate NOW
      Introverted Since 1957

      Comment


        #23
        Originally posted by trubandloki View Post

        And to ride I assume, if your horse and you were fit enough to compete.
        some of rode more during this, a lot of barns never shut down (it all depends on where you live in the USA/CAN). My horse is more fit than before the pandemic, so at least SOMETHING good is coming of it.

        Comment


          #24
          Yes we are safer outdoors than indoors . . . however, recent research has scientists worried about possible airborne spread. . . the virus present literally in the air.
          Secondly - it is possible to be completely asymptomatic and still carry and spread the infection. That means the person who seems perfectly healthy in the stall next
          door or volunteering, etc could be a carrier and you'd have no way of knowing that.
          One thing about the grocery store (I do always wear a mask when I go) is that you can pivot and avoid someone fairly easily at least in the very large stores we have
          here - you're not in close contact with anyone for more than half a second if you have to pass someone going the wrong way down the aisle.

          Can you consistently stay distanced from virtually everyone else at a show? And now the science is saying that 6 feet may not be far enough - we may need 10 or 12 feet of distance.
          Can you really do that if the show with a lot of entrants? The people I know and see at the shows I have attended are very social, friendly and helpful - and it can be very hard to
          stay fairly far away from everyone. We're only in the saddle for maybe 30-45 minutes - what with warm up - waiting your turn - riding the test etc and the rest of the time we're all
          milling around on foot, pushing muck carts, carrying water, hand grazing horses, hosing them down, putting tack away or sitting in the shade chatting away while cleaning it . . .
          and this brings us into fairly close contact with each other, not to mention the lines at the concession stand, sharing picnic tables, and standing companionably together at the rail
          watching tests. Can we really put all that distance between ourselves and everyone else - every minute we are there?

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #25
            Apart from the recent research about possible airborne spread; my primary concern is other people. As I mentioned in the OP, my observation of many horse people in my area is that they are not masking or social distancing. At my last show in late Feb / early March, one trainer with multiple horses was railing about how the CA governor was overreacting at that time. I have little to no confidence in the regulars at the shows I typically attend following the rules. That and the bathroom situation :-)

            Comment


              #26
              Originally posted by Shagyas Rock View Post
              Yes we are safer outdoors than indoors . . . however, recent research has scientists worried about possible airborne spread. . . the virus present literally in the air.

              ......

              And now the science is saying that 6 feet may not be far enough - we may need 10 or 12 feet of distance.
              I don't think anyone is saying that horse shows should go on business as usual with lots of hanging out and socializing, and not incorporating additional precautions.

              The science is showing that the airborne spread is linked to indoor locations with stagnant or recirculating air; airborne particles in an outdoor environment are rapidly dispersed so don't pose the same threat.

              The science is also showing that wearing a proper mask, respiratory droplets only travel inches, vs. the ~8 feet of an unprotected cough. So hopefully masks will be required for anyone unmounted at shows, spectating is not allowed or somehow minimized and paperwork is handled virtually and/or outdoors to the extent possible.




              FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science researchers use flow visualization to qualitatively test social distancing and the efficacy of facemasks in obstructing respiratory droplets.

              Comment


                #27
                In my region of Canada we flattened the curve nicely and are in stage 3 of re opening. I would not hesitate to go to a small dressage show that was enforcing protocol.

                But honestly what I'm seeing in the USA is terrifying. It seems like the default decision is to run a big experiment and see what happens if you just let the virus rip through your communities and see how many people die off or are permanently disabled. From a scientific point of view it's fascinating because no other developed country with resources is taking this approach. I am watching with interest.

                I would however be terrified if I was in most parts of the USA now because Covid is spreading unchecked like normal flu season except it is way more contagious and dangerous than the flu. And like the flu and oxycontin, Covid 19 will make its way into rural back waters soon enough.

                I agree that horses and outdoors are low transmission environments but if you are somewhere like Houston where 25% of people are testing positive, that's crazy risky. I don't think there is any other developed country in the world with infection rates that high. And if you mix high infection rates with a scorn for hygiene protocol, that's making things worse.

                It has sometimes occured to me that a certain chunk of the USA has a death wish.


                ​​​​​​
                ​​​​​​

                Comment


                  #28
                  Originally posted by Shagyas Rock View Post
                  Can you consistently stay distanced from virtually everyone else at a show? And now the science is saying that 6 feet may not be far enough - we may need 10 or 12 feet of distance.
                  Can you really do that if the show with a lot of entrants? The people I know and see at the shows I have attended are very social, friendly and helpful - and it can be very hard to
                  stay fairly far away from everyone. We're only in the saddle for maybe 30-45 minutes - what with warm up - waiting your turn - riding the test etc and the rest of the time we're all
                  milling around on foot, pushing muck carts, carrying water, hand grazing horses, hosing them down, putting tack away or sitting in the shade chatting away while cleaning it . . .
                  and this brings us into fairly close contact with each other, not to mention the lines at the concession stand, sharing picnic tables, and standing companionably together at the rail
                  watching tests. Can we really put all that distance between ourselves and everyone else - every minute we are there?
                  It sure would be a lot easier to keep that distance at an open-air horse show than in a grocery store as far as I can see. By this logic, very few people should be allowed to go into work and provide services for the community - grocery clerks, medical office staff, take out food locations...
                  thebaybondgirl.wordpress.com

                  Comment


                    #29
                    I do think there’s a big difference between trailering in for the day alone (which is how I show 95% of the time) and stabling overnight in big groups. My horse is rehabbing but at this point I would feel comfortable with the former. I would probably pee in my trailer though! My state is doing okay so I wouldn’t feel too selfish risking hospitalization by jumping solid jumps. I agree with others that outdoor horse shows seem relatively low-risk for disease transmission, especially if (big if) people are being considerate.
                    Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm: http://thesmallhorsefarm.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                      #30
                      Originally posted by atlatl View Post
                      Apart from the recent research about possible airborne spread; my primary concern is other people. As I mentioned in the OP, my observation of many horse people in my area is that they are not masking or social distancing. At my last show in late Feb / early March, one trainer with multiple horses was railing about how the CA governor was overreacting at that time. I have little to no confidence in the regulars at the shows I typically attend following the rules. That and the bathroom situation :-)
                      yeah. I wouldn't go to those shows. Eeek.....

                      Comment


                        #31
                        I was very surprised to read that Arabian Youth Nationals in the US has record number of entrants, in particular in dressage. This is people coming from all over the US to attend. Meanwhile, where I live in Canada, there are a few "Schooling Days" being held for over fences, but I haven't seen any dressage shows scheduled before September. I think there is an event coming up too, but it is being held as one day events. not recognized, held with two or so levels per day to limit the number of horses needing to be on the property (and people). I think the biggest hurdle here for dressage shows, is the EC rules/restrictions for scribes. The endless rain isn't helping either though... I do miss showing: it inspires me with new ideas when coaching, and goals when riding, but I also don't think it would be its usual fun with all the restrictions. We are doing online showing.
                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                        Comment


                          #32
                          Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                          In my region of Canada we flattened the curve nicely and are in stage 3 of re opening. I would not hesitate to go to a small dressage show that was enforcing protocol.

                          But honestly what I'm seeing in the USA is terrifying. It seems like the default decision is to run a big experiment and see what happens if you just let the virus rip through your communities and see how many people die off or are permanently disabled. From a scientific point of view it's fascinating because no other developed country with resources is taking this approach. I am watching with interest.

                          I would however be terrified if I was in most parts of the USA now because Covid is spreading unchecked like normal flu season except it is way more contagious and dangerous than the flu. And like the flu and oxycontin, Covid 19 will make its way into rural back waters soon enough.

                          I agree that horses and outdoors are low transmission environments but if you are somewhere like Houston where 25% of people are testing positive, that's crazy risky. I don't think there is any other developed country in the world with infection rates that high. And if you mix high infection rates with a scorn for hygiene protocol, that's making things worse.

                          It has sometimes occured to me that a certain chunk of the USA has a death wish.


                          ​​​​​​
                          ​​​​​​
                          we just enjoy our..."freedoms"

                          a recent article on Forbes tracked CC data. Areas where Dine-In restaurant charges surged, so did COVID. Areas where take-out, delivery, and grocery charges outpaced dine-in, didn't see a surge.

                          that's a fact.

                          so you could go show your horses (I HATE THE PHRASE "HORSE SHOW") and be relatively safe. OR, you could go show your horses and hang out in the hotel lobby with 20 people for 2 hours or go eat dinner AT a restaurant and be very much at risk.

                          Comment


                            #33
                            There's no point in showing around here unless you just want the the experience for yourself and your horse. Most of our "big" (USEF/USDF) shows have been cancelled anyway. It's OK. I've got a lot to work on while I wait for Covid to pass. Besides, I'm getting older, losing my ambition and don't feel like driving too far for a show. The closer, the better!

                            Comment


                              #34
                              People just want things to feel normal after months of abnormal. It's that simple.

                              Comment


                                #35
                                I went to a recognized show as a spectator/groom and didn't feel unsafe. BUT... there were way less people than a pre-COVID show; mask and social distancing were in effect, and everyone showing was relatively local. The last point is important because in our area, cases are going down.

                                I would feel more nervous if there were lots of people, if I was in an area where cases were rising, or if a lot of people were coming from all over.

                                I can't see any national championships being safe. Regionals also seem risky.

                                Comment


                                  #36
                                  I think when discussing this, you very much so need to look at the region you are in.

                                  I worried about my mom and sister in law constantly when this started. But I don't worry that they are going through their normal life anymore. Why? Because they live in Nova Scotia. I have more cases in the county i live in, in NC, then they have in the entire province. They are going days and even weeks sometimes without a new case, and had zero cases in the town they live in. Even with all of this, they are still wearing masks when they go out, and maintaining social distance, and it is working. So would I show there? Absolutely. Would I show in Ontario? Yup. I am watching the big shows and the steps they are taking, and with the numbers in these areas, I would be fine with it.

                                  Am I going to show here? Maybe eventually, but not now.

                                  Comment


                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by AMWookey View Post
                                    I think when discussing this, you very much so need to look at the region you are in.
                                    Ding Ding Ding - and we have a winner.

                                    The post above painting all of the US with one broad brush is part of why this is so frustrating.


                                    Comment


                                      #38
                                      I'm in New England which seems to be doing ok for now. I was not planning on showing much, however I am actually entered in a show in VT at the end of July. GMHA is taking it all very seriously, VT is taking it all very seriously, and I am trucking in for each day of the show even though normally I would stable there. Yes, it'll mean more driving for me, but no hotel, no stabling with people who may or may not be following guidelines, and no prolonged time on the show grounds.

                                      Now, I do acknowledge that volunteers and officials are putting themselves at risk and I seriously hope that my fellow competitors also keep that in mind so as to do our best to keep them healthy and safe.
                                      "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline

                                      Comment


                                        #39
                                        It's hard to start a discussion when the first post accuses people who are showing of making bad choices.

                                        I'm an essential employee. People that stayed home have no idea how busy it is out in the world. My store is now business as usual.

                                        Right now I can work, I can shop, I can go to restaurants, I can play golf, children are
                                        going back to school with no precautions in August, but you're telling me it's unsafe to horse show?

                                        If my area has an outbreak and sports are shut down again than so be it. Until then I don't see how horse showing is less safe than those other things.
                                        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                        Comment


                                          #40
                                          I am not much into horse showing regardless, so that affects my views. While my area is currently doing well now, the sudden spikes elsewhere following reopenings has me more cautious.

                                          For me, I would consider a local schooling show where everyone is local and there is no stabling and they have good protocols. Recognized shows that I could travel to (no stabling) would be a bit more risky since they would bring in people from distant areas, but if I could trailer in and keep my social distance, I might do that if I had a competitive goal that it would address. A big show with stabling and staying at hotels etc would be too much risk for me right now for a very nonessential activity.

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