Having struggled to find a permanent base, I found myself being kindly accommodated by Russ hardy at Boomerang stables, he put me up in his temporary stables. Lots of horses, no full time help, however plenty of goodwill. This journey ended with me on my back in his arena having just fallen off a 5yo I thought the world of. The horse over jumping into a 2 striding double was my demise. It resulted in a broken nose, 2 black eyes and 2 fractured vertebrae. Not to mention a lot of Australian swearing when Russ saw what had happened.
This time 2 years ago I was still in a neck brace, having hoped it would have been off in time for my birthday. Luckily it did eventually come off, a couple of weeks later. Good rehabilitation at Oaksey house in Lambourn and encouragement from amazing friends and owners resulted in me deciding I should continue with my equestrian dream. Though for a brief moment I had looked for other things I could channel my energies and passion into.
I forced myself to get straight back in to the competitive end of the sport, and was fortunate to move to a new base at Arion Stud with Louisa. Luckily I had some horses to ride which other riders had kept competing for me/my owners during my absence. I almost picked up where I had left off on the horses, apart from the 5yo I had fallen from. He had been turned away, and when I got back on him I honestly doubted my ability to rebuild the partnership I had begun to develop with him. I still believed in his ability but I did not believe in us.
It's been a long road, but when that horse, now 7 years old qualified for the foxhunter final at Horse of the Year Show by jumping a triple clear with me in the regional final at Wales and West last week it made that journey seem worthwhile. Luckily his incredible ability and talent makes up for the minimal natural talent I have, however my work ethic and perseverance has helped develop him and will hopefully go on developing him in to the horse I believe he could be.
If you work hard enough, and with integrity many things are possible. If you are lucky enough to also be able to surround yourself with the right people everything is possible. I am incredibly lucky and thank everybody who shares the amazing, frustrating and sometimes exhausting journey with me. R xx