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Rationale for Showing, or not, During the Pandemic

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  • BayBondGirl
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • Scribbler
    replied
    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.


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    Leave a comment:


  • outerbanks77
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • atlatl
    replied
    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 :-)

    Leave a comment:


  • Shagyas Rock
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • NewYork_Marx
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • hoopoe
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Foxglove
    replied
    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!!

    Leave a comment:


  • CLB15
    replied
    I was planning to show this year and had the calendar lined up, but now that some shows in my state are starting up I’ve decided not to attend. Traveling to lessons and going to do some virtual shows instead to get the “routine” of traveling to another barn and being judged that way.

    Theoretically riding isn’t a team sport so the argument in my area has been not to lump horse shows in with other sporting events as restrictions are lifted. But it doesn’t becomes much less of one when it’s a rider, some of their family, a friend or 2 to show up to spectate & hold water bottles, the coach, some barn mates that carpooled in with their horses together, etc... I know what I’m doing to minimize my risks, and I trust the degree that others at a horse show would do the same, so I won’t go. Plus it seems for as many shows that are enforcing [correct] masks & social distancing, changing their schedules, check-in processes and award distribution processes, there are as many that are not.

    Leave a comment:


  • happilyretired
    replied
    I haven't shown in a few years and have no great desire to start again anyway. But I did go as a an owner/spectator at a recognized show in Central Florida a few weeks ago. My observations --- probably a pretty safe endeavor despite the recent surge of cases in Florida. This particular venue is very spread out with satellite barns. Lots of room for everyone to keep their distance. I'd say restrooms were the only real "enclosed space" I had to go in. I just wore my mask and "kept it quick"! So if you like to show and if the show grounds lend themselves to spacing I'd say go for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jealoushe
    replied
    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post

    And to ride I assume, if your horse and you were fit enough to compete.
    I live on my own farm, so they have been in work continuously all winter.

    Leave a comment:


  • BayBondGirl
    replied
    Originally posted by NewYork_Marx View Post
    I want to show because it gives me a goal, everything else has been depressing. My horse is ready, I am ready. I have money to do this and it's not seen as risky. I've not been anywhere but the barn since March. Everything was taken away, thank goodness for the horses.
    Same. I am pretty pregnant right now so no shows anyway for me, but if I wasn't, I would be hitting up whatever local schooling shows are available.

    - I feel much safer at an outdoor horse show than an enclosed, busy grocery store.
    - I show alone anyway so "physical distancing" is a normal part of my experience. Not to mention keeping horses from getting too close together is burned into my brain and instincts.
    - Most/all venues that are tentatively reopening are being careful with their guidelines as they don't want to have to close down again.
    - I am responsible and intelligent enough to keep myself as safe as I possibly can anywhere by using hygiene, distancing and safety protocols (mask etc).
    - Showing gives me purpose and a target; I have a very hard time being productive with my rides if I don't have a "milestone" to meet.
    - Riding is my happy-place and that is very important for me to maintain during a global crisis.

    Leave a comment:


  • mmeqcenter
    replied
    I was planning on showing recognized this year for the first time. I'm fairly new to dressage.

    I am now planning on not showing at all this year, not even going to spectate. Bummer, especially since Regionals are basically in my backyard this year but, it's really not worth the risk IMO. I'm in a very rural county in Florida, our numbers overall are low, but people come to our GMO shows from bigger cities like Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville, much less the recognized shows. People just are not taking it seriously in Florida it's ridiculous. Sitting on my horse is low-risk, obviously, but the issue is being around a bunch of a-holes at the office or bathroom who DGAF about anyone else and refuse to follow rules on masks and social distancing.
    Last edited by mmeqcenter; Jul. 7, 2020, 03:55 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • trubandloki
    replied
    Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
    I am also in Ontario though, and have been wearing a mask since March and not going out unless to work and home.
    And to ride I assume, if your horse and you were fit enough to compete.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jealoushe
    replied
    I just went to an event this weekend. A bit different with eventing, but I really wanted to get my mare out and see how she handled the course. We have schooled a few times this year, but the actual event is always a different test than schooling. Sometimes with eventing you have to keep yourself or your horse "in the game" so to speak.

    That being said, I had confidence based on the schooling opportunities. Everything was very well handled. I didn't close to a single person other than my groom. Everything done online, assigned parking etc. I am also in Ontario though, and have been wearing a mask since March and not going out unless to work and home.

    Leave a comment:


  • atlatl
    replied
    Originally posted by oldernewbie View Post
    Good thread, thanks for sharing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gardenhorse
    replied
    For me, it gives me a goal and something semi-normal to plan for and look forward to in a time when everything else is crazy. In my area, the shows seem to be taking mask requirements and social distancing seriously for both competitors and volunteers. If they weren’t, I would not attend.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rerider54
    replied
    Originally posted by outerbanks77 View Post
    I am thinking about going to a tiny schooling show at the end of July. They require masks for anyone who isn't riding, and it is all outdoors. If I go, I'll warm up, ride my tests and leave. Having shown at this place before, I feel that it is less risky than going into a grocery store. I would not go to a larger recognized show right now.
    This, sort of. I had signed up for a schooling show so of course my horse decided she had to be ‘off’. Back in March I thought the year was basically over as far as the shows went. I also wasn’t hauling down the road for lessons, or having a trainer come to me. So I changed barns to one of my trainers establishments. It is a smaller, more private place. As my husband and I are in the high risk group we have mostly been isolating since mid-March. He rides his bike in the neighborhood and I go to the stable three or four days a week. I try to only go to the grocery store once a week, during senior hours.

    No more shows in our area till August-October. I will probably go to something. The plan will be to go for the day, wear a mask when not riding and not talk to anyone. Not my preferred day but it is okay. When I registered for the schooling show I didn’t get to I even included the numbers that I have from previous shows. I thought that way I wouldn’t have to even go near a secretary. I don’t see this going away any tim soon. Reading the news about FL, AZ, CA and TX tells me I might be staying home for a long time. Either way I will live with it, key word ‘LIVE’. I was hoping to get the last two scores for my Bronze. But if not this year then next. If we survive this it does make for a good story.

    Leave a comment:


  • NewYork_Marx
    replied
    Originally posted by Miss Motivation View Post
    Good question. The CovidPause, as I call it, has given most of us a bit of time to think about all of our motivations and inclinations to do anything/everything with horses, from showing to even having horses.

    CovidPause is unexpected punctuation in our busy lives, which I think of as a lot of commas, in our pell-mell pursuit of whatever it is we've been chasing with horses all along.

    I'm kind of enjoying just riding, without real competition goals in mind. My new horse went to one very small schooling show at a local stable which was very comfortable in terms of distance, masking, etc. It was a nice progress check on the horse (yes, he's as easy to show as he is to ride at home) but I don't care too much one way or the other if we show anytime soon again.

    This is a lost year, in many ways, but I'm finding it a year of gain in terms of cleaning my house, of course, but also kind of cleaning my mind, and my heart. I've let a few friendships drift away that were costing a lot emotionally to maintain, and I've made good progress on some personal goals. Showing will be back, I'm not on any particular timeline... but I sure feel fortunate to have the time and space to enjoy horses when so many people are having to spend this time in very close quarters.
    for me its been the opposite, I have been more focused on my riding and goals. I am actually busier now but it depends on how you look at it.
    Course, I have a very constant approach to my riding and don't change very much when I show, its all the same training regardless..... (Ie intensity, focus, etc). I have more mental energy since I work remotely.

    Leave a comment:


  • NewYork_Marx
    replied
    Originally posted by outerbanks77 View Post

    The ones I'm aware of here are filling to max capacity almost as soon as entries open. I dont know if they're limiting spectators or grooms, but that would make a pretty big difference in total number of people.
    yeah, might be region specific. This might have changed since June, hard to say.

    Leave a comment:

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