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Where our journey began...
I have been in the saddle pretty much all of my life and was once a confident, capable rider. However, a five year break in my early twenties left me tense, full of fear and twitching in my nervous knickers at the mere thought of getting on a horse.
After admitting that a life without horses was not the life for me, and with some 'gentle' encouragement from my Chief Cheerleader, I found myself out horse shopping and that is how Dee and I found each other.
She was my absolute dream horse and, having known her since a foal, I never ever thought I would be lucky enough to have the opportunity to own her. Fate was on our side and she came home with me in August 2016.
Then the reality set in! I had bought this beautiful dream horse but I was filled with sheer terror at the prospect of actually riding her, so badly that even the thought of getting on would send me into a knee knocking, knicker twisting, tearful state. All of my self confidence and years of experience had disappeared and I felt like a total novice and a complete failure. I did not believe I could do it and I let it get right, front and centre, in my way for a long time.
Today, four years later, sees me far more confident and less weepy than I was back then but those old anxieties and self doubts still prevail at times. I have accepted I will never be the bold, brave and carefree rider I once was but I have found some useful ways to face the fear and do it anyway. Building a solid trust and partnership with Dee has played a key part in this, as well as large quantities of gin!
Our most recent hurdle came during Summer last year when Dee’s behaviour started to change drastically under saddle and it became clear she was not comfortable at all. Months of trials and tribulations and visits to the vet ensued, resulting eventually in a diagnosis of Kissing Spine. Once I had recovered (marginally) from the shock and devastation of her diagnosis, I then opted to treat with injections and shockwave therapy and implemented a vigorous and intense rehab programme. We are now eight months into her rehab and, whilst it is a long and rocky road, her progress has been fantastic.
The last few years have been a complete rollercoaster ride of bravery, self discovery, forceful coercing, fighting inner demons, making friends for life and learning. There has been tears, laughter, pride, wobbles by the bucket load and A LOT of gin along the way.
Instead of quietly making my way along this rocky but rewarding road I, in my wisdom, decided instead to share it all in a blog, which I started in 2018. It has been the scariest and the best thing I have ever done and the support, inspiration and motivation I have received and been able to share and give to others through the blog has been incredible. By sharing my stories and experiences in the most honest and bare bones way I can, I have been able to voice my worries, my achievements, my highs and my lows. More than that I have been able to help others – help them be brave, cheer them on, share ideas and training tips and give them something that the everyday amateur rider can relate to.
Catch up on Cara and Dee's story so far by visiting her blog, Devine Intervention, here > https://www.seekingdevineintervention.com/