BENGALURU: Like many other countries in Europe, Germany is witnessing a huge spike in positive COVID-19 cases (over 84,000) but the number of recoveries brings in a positive note. There aren’t severe lockdown restrictions imposed here in the north of Germany, but the good thing is that people are willingly adhering to the restrictions in place. Some cities have restrictions similar to India, which include a permission letter to step out of one’s residence. But I am fortunate to be residing in Ganderkesee, Bergedorf Village, a part of the country which isn’t drastically affected or hit by the virus yet. I say ‘yet’ because it’s spreading like wildfire across the globe.
I came to Germany a couple years ago to train here, and the last time I visited India was in August last year when I received the Arjuna Award. Earlier this year, I secured a berth for the country in equestrian for the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed now.
My training routine amid the lockdown is pretty much on the normal side for now. I am lucky to be living on-site with the stables located merely 30 metres away, since horses do need a lot of care. There have been no restrictions for those in the equestrian industry, with respect to work and looking after their horses. Shops for goods, veterinary care and for feed in particular haven’t been affected.
The horses have to be cared for and exercised and I am glad the authorities have acknowledged that, and let them remain open. We are careful about monetary transactions, which are done via virtual payment methods. These are small measures which need to be taken to decrease the spread of the virus.When it comes to life outside of horses, I don’t go anywhere apart from the supermarkets and equine clinic. My visits to the markets are minimized, I go once in every two weeks, but that’s also because there isn’t a huge sense of panic in the town.
It would be nice to be back in India with my family, and make sure they are staying safe. But the horses here are also my family, and I cannot leave them behind. They need to exercise and train for their well-being. You can be the best rider in the world, but without a happy and healthy teammate, you’re nobody.