In The Saddle: I’m winning the battle of wounded knee!

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I’ve had a fantastic few weeks since I last sat down to share the goings-on of a Isle-based horsey mum.

Even now, I feel a giddy kipper about how I’m progressing – finally, after being lame and out of the saddle for most of this year. As many of you will be aware, I’m now 11 weeks post-knee surgery and I’ve been struggling to rehabilitate myself back in the saddle. Quite simply, it took longer than I originally thought. Although according to my surgeon, not quite as long as he thought. Apparently I have little patience. I was given a recovery time of 12 weeks to be back in the position I was before I accidentally messed up my knee. I thought I knew best and assume I’d return to riding/competing in around six weeks. Yes, that’s probably why I’m not a knee surgeon and Dr Pacheco is.

I’ve been progressing nicely from just a few minutes in the saddle to an hour’s hacking, gradually building up schooling April more slowly.

Finally, last week I felt that my knee could handle ‘trotting’ poles, jumping poles placed on the ground for the horse to trot over.

They are a great way of building up to jumping a horse and are usually the first thing a rider will start with when learning to jump. I had two placed on the ground but around nine strides apart to ensure I wasn’t doing too much initially. Despite holding her back in trot, she was so excited she simply jumped the first pole. Not just a small jump either, a lovely unexpected cat leap into what seemed like the sky!

I guess April had decided to skip the ‘building up’ to jump practice. And why not? As far as she was concerned she was doing me a favour.

Very quickly we have built up to jumping small jumps. I can’t yet manage a course but I’m so delighted that if I could cat leap into the air myself I probably would! For now though, I’ll have to settle for a little one-inch jump off the ground. Even that feels amazing!