So some of you may know I had a couple of years out from competing but there will be very few of you who know why, so I thought I would share with you a very tragic day which lead to my traveling and competing days to come to and end. - Don't worry there is a happy ending!
It was a Friday morning in June in 2008 when I loaded up two of my lovely boys into the trailer and set off.
One a 17hand light weight hunter and the other my little stallion - Oliver's brother.
We had been on the go for about 20 mins when the boys, who never have a cross word starting to bicker in the back. There really was nothing I could do, luckily only going around 20-25 miles an hour but the trailer jack knifed and smashed into the side of the discovery it then swag out span round and landed with a very heavy thud on its side.
The details are a little hazy as shock was beyond anything I had experienced before.
I remember being sick at the side of the road and everyone asking me who my vet was - I could not remember and I could not find the number in my phone. It is incredible what shock can do to you. At this point I'd had the same Vet - Robin from pump lane equine for 4 years!
Eventually I managed to pull myself together and call Robin and Ryan.
The emergency services were on their way as my passenger and I think half the road users had made calls.
I then went to the back of the trailer and opened the back door. My little stallion Timmy trapped underneath the partition with his big pal doing everything in his power to sit up off of him.
It really was a sight, Timmy was completely pinned down so he was quite not moving at all. While my big boy was sat up like a dog trying to keep of Timmy. I remember thinking what cleaver boys. I dived in to give them both reassurance and within minutes Robin and Ryan were both there, Ryan to help me and Robin for my boys.
Robin checked them over and sedated them both.
It was at this point I saw a man in the front jockey door with Timmy he was stoking him and talking. Timmy fixated on this man.
To this day I don't know who this man was but I. Ant thank him enough for those kind hands and words.
Then it was time for the firemen to take over - they literally peeled the trailer apart like a tin can.
Making space for us to get to the boys.
Once ready the firemen pulled the boys out of the trailer and it was time to get them on their feet.
Timmy as soon as he was out leapt to his feet and dragged me over to the grass verge to eat!! Few he's ok.
Sadly my bigger horse was not in as great shape in the panic of try to stay off his buddy he had cut his legs badly.
A little while after they were loaded in to a friends horsebox and on the journey home. Once home it was time to assess how bad things were.
Timmy was on watch for internal damage and surprisingly he had one scuff on his shoulder. No other marks at all.
My other boy was not so lucky and had torn the entire back of his knee off. He was also covered in superficial scraps. The knee was so bad I could get my entire hand inside. This was not going to be a simple fix.
I remember thinking to myself "we are all lucky to be home and alive"
The next 24 hours was exhausting. I camped out between the boys stables counting the poos and whees.
Checking for sounds and any discomfort. Timmy was back in the field the following day and I was riding him a week later. What a lucky escape.
My other boy took three months of box rest and daily care consisting of, jabs, bandaging, stitching, spraying and praying for him to recover.
When Robin came out on what was to be his last visit to my boy he simple said "ok all the hard work is done, back on you get"
I was dumb struck. I could not believe my ears.
The following day we went for a walk. Both so pleased to be under saddle and out and about.
That incredible boy went on to win the fox two years later. It's incredible how resilient theses horses are.
So the reason for sharing this sad tale?
As I'm sure you can imagine after the accident I didn't drive even my car for about a month. I was no longer able to get into a lorry or trailer so traveling was out of the question. Over time I began to travel with the horses but always felt hot and sick, my tummy in knots. Barely able to manage a 30 min journey. So even if I could get to a show I was in no fit state when we arrived.
Id lost my independance, I had spent hours going up and down the UK with my horses and it had all come to a stop.
Well for the first time this week I had a trip in the lorry and was fine. No sickness no hot sweats and no panic.
It's taken a long time but I feel my confidence is back and I can compete again, I can travel with my horses. YAY!