4 years ago, I had a very nasty fall on a hack which left my confidence in tatters. My horse and I were out riding on our own, when a bike came hurtling past us. This massively spooked my horse. My horse dragged me over an open field by my arm and ran straight into open traffic on a 60mph road. I was so shaken up. The thought of getting back on him terrified me, even though it was a freak, one-off accident.

For years, I was shaken with fear at the thought of getting the saddle out. I would get into such a state and thought about giving up horse-riding for good.

Last year, I decided enough was enough. I made the decision to get back into the saddle. I realised that this would be the only way to help me overcome my fear of riding. I started by getting my tack out once a week to clean it. Seeing the saddle brought back so many memories from that day all those years ago.

I decided to reach out for help. I spoke to a lovely lady, who is now my instructor. We started with lunging and plenty of ground work. We then went for walks out on foot. We did this for 12 months, as I was so frightened of the ‘what ifs’ and forgot about ‘what could actually go right’. After 12 long months, I finally managed to sit my bum in the saddle. In that moment, I realised that I should never give up on my dreams, just because of one nasty fall.

Last summer, I attended my first show with my boy. We came away as reserve champion. I cried my eyes out, not with sad tears, but tears of joy. A month later, we attended our second show. This time, I signed us up for jumping, even though he had never jumped before! I had a week to practice. Unbelievably, with hard work and focus, we came 1st!

I still suffer from anxiety today. Although this is the case, I live by the motto ‘’leave your fears in the yard and live in the moment” and remember “you may of had a bad ride yesterday but remember, today is a new day”.

If I can help one person by sharing my story, that would mean the world to me.