How do we keep going in these crazy times? Shows are on hold. Many barns have closed. Clinics are canceling. Some things about life are frozen in time, but not all: We want to keep learning, stay inspired and see other humans. So how can we do so? The internet.

A source of so much negativity and nonsense, the internet still rules for its power for good. Here are a few ways to use it wisely:

1. Virtual Lessons

These have been a thing since long before the coronavirus, but the technology is not foolproof. Still, it’s out there, and you can make it work. A few ways to do so:

– If you’re lucky enough to have a Pixem (and it WORKS; they are a little tricky, particularly in indoors), you connect it to your phone, connect to the internet, and connect to your trainer of choice. Boom, done.

– If you don’t, you’ll need a cameraman and an app like Skype or FaceTime. Your camera holder “calls” your instructor, and off you go.

When I’ve tried it, I’ve found that it works best if the rider wears a Bluetooth headphone of some sort, so they can hear me rather than trying to crank up the volume on the cameraphone. And that means that your camera probably needs to be in the middle of your arena, so you’re not too far from it, lest said Bluetooth headphones disconnect (a dressage arena is quite a bit longer than the average Bluetooth range!). If you’re shopping for headphones, look for something with “Class 1” Bluetooth, which goes farther than the typical “Class 2.” And if you’re really stuck or really need to have the whole arena, use a second phone: one for video and one in your pocket to call.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!