By Ellie Woznica
COVID-19 has infected the internet is with all of these different quarantine games and challenges. “I spy” for your camera roll, six truths and a lie, and even a couple of workout/jungle gym type videos. But let’s be honest here, we horse people may partake, but we are not so easily entertained. We are going a little stir crazy in our homes and those of us who are not able to see our horses are definitely, slowing losing our minds.
Although I am fortunate enough to have my horses in my backyard during this uncertain time, I have come up with a little social experiment/challenge of my own to help my fellow equestrians pass the isolation hours.
Here is what you will need:
1. Your comfiest blanket. (Those of you who have a few extra aches and pains can opt for two blankets.)
2. A loaf of bread. If you are gluten intolerant, find a suitable alternative. (I will not pretend to know one.)
3. A gallon of water (or whatever your physician recommends your daily intake be). And I should be more specific—tap water. No fancy brand names or filtering, straight from your kitchen sink.
4. A roll of toilet paper. ** Now, I know this is a rare, hard-to-find commodity at the moment, so this supply is optional, but strongly recommended.
5. A bucket. Five gallons should do the trick.
6. A lollipop. You pick the brand and flavor, but you only get one, so if you pick a little DumDum, that is what you are stuck with. (Personally, I’m more of a Tootsie Pop fan.)
7. A fidget spinner or other boredom elevating toy. Nothing electronic!
Next, you will have to find a spot in your home that can be completely closed up. You want make sure you are able to stand without hitting your head, and can lie down in the fetal position comfortably. But if you can stretch out any more than that, the space is too big and you’ll have to find another. Once you have found your spot you’ll want to prep it as follows:
- Spread your blanket(s) over the floor of the entire space.
- Place your bucket in one corner and place the toilet paper nearby.
- Put your bread and water in the opposite corner.
- Place fidget spinner and lollipop to the side and save them for when they are needed.
- Stay in that space for at least 24 hours.
If you are thinking, “How am I supposed to stay in there all day?” Don’t worry! You can have your child or spouse come and take you to the living room for an hour, where you will do exactly what they say – walking and jogging in a circle one way and then the next. This will be a great chance for you to stretch your legs, but this will only happen once and when it is convenient for your child/spouse.
Are you excited to spend a day next to your excrement with an hour of exercise thrown in there somewhere? I bet decent money that your answer would be “no.” Remember this the next time you leave your horse in a box stall for a week because it’s muddy outside and you don’t want him to get dirty because you’ll have to brush him more. Or because he just had a bath, or when you don’t want to have to make the long walk to the pasture to get him for a ride after a full day of working at the office.
Although I completely understand (and practice) stalling during inclement weather, veterinarian-recommended stall rest, and the unfortunate cases of horses who physically cannot have turn out for risk of deadly injury (i.e. horses who are nerved), a stall is no place for a horse to live. Don’t believe me? Try this experiment and see if you change your mind. If you are wondering to yourself why you would ever even consider partaking in this challenge, I’d like you to remember that you do have the fidget spinner and lollipop — just like your horse has his Jolly Ball and Lick-it, how could you possibly be bored?
Still don’t think you can make it? Try cribbing — it works for some.