Who would have guessed that just a week after my successful weekend competing at Brendon Stud I would be in hospital having a CT scan following a fall from Skye while schooling at home... certainly not me!!
I was very pleased with my schooling session that Saturday morning but nearing the end I have to admit that I took my eye off the ball. A cyclist or walker on the track alongside the school - heard but not seen through the thick hedge - was enough to send Skye into orbit. I might have sat the disturbance if I had been fully in the moment - sadly I hit the deck... hard!
A fractured pelvis and considerable muscular skeletal damage to my lower back was the verdict and I went home on crutches with the advice to "go back to pilates before you get back on a horse!" Six weeks on I heeded their advice.. did my exercises in the meantime but also had the chance to ride Trojan - the mechanical horse at Wildwoods, with Sarah Sjoholm-Patience, during that time. It was a great boost to my confidence and reassuring to know that the motion of the horse was almost a kind of massage to my painful back! I can't say it was exactly comfortable at the time but the next day I felt so much better!!
It took way longer than I expected - and hoped - before I got back on Skye. Those extra weeks & days were very frustrating but probably the right decision in the long run.
When I finally got onboard, I gradually increased my riding time - hacking Skye for over a week to build up my strength and ease my back gently into it again... Skye had been kept ticking over while I was off so he was fit and ready to go! I then introduced short schooling sessions to the hacking, with the aim of making my originally planned training date with Andrew J Murphy over the weekend of the 7/8 September.
Pleased to say the weekend went very well! Everything went to plan under the circumstances with thanks to Andrew's reassuring training sessions, I felt that we were heading back into a similar groove where we left off after our last training sessions in June... and we had built a few bridges to our trust in each other again.
And so on Sunday, our next step was to go to a local unaffiliated competition as another outing. It was a hot and sunny day which I was thankful for. I disappointed myself though by being rather defensive in the first test but pulled myself together and was more positive in the medium & so ended the day on a much happier note. Another box ticked!
But.... I do have a hidden agenda - to make it to Keysoe CPEDI3* in 2 short weeks time!
I really could not even be contemplating this if it had not been for all the help and support I have had these past months - not only with my own recovery but especially looking after Skye! Huge thanks goes to friends who took responsibility for looking after his wellbeing until I was well enough to gradually start doing a bit at the yard - I think you know who you are! Big hug!! xx