In The Saddle: Out of the saddle and under the knife?

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Oh dear!

As many of you might already be aware, I have been unable to ride recently due to a knee injury.

The doctors originally thought it was a sprained/bruised ligament but it now appears to be potential cartilage damage, which potentially might need an operation. Gutted!

I’m awaiting an MRI scan so we can see why there has been no improvement, but right now I’m feeling rather sorry for myself.

I can’t muck out or ride still or even bring my own horse in from the field.

This has not only put a spanner in the works for my own horse, but also for the pony-hunting we were looking at starting in the spring.

Initially, in my first week off riding, I was lucky to have my two friends Amanda and Lyndsey helping me out. But, with horses of their own to exercise and full time jobs, I can’t keep asking favours forever.

In order to be able to manage, we’ve had to find a ‘temporary groom’ to help out with the daily chores and also help to exercise my mare.

Luckily for me, I’d kept in touch with my riding instructor Natalie Roberts, who initially worked at a local riding school and helped me to brush up on my saddle skills before I bought my horse.

Natalie heard of my plight and suggested her Isle-based ‘A Star Equestrian Training and Services’ could be just the thing to help out.

So far she’s been wonderful and it’s working really well.

She works with her business partner Anna to provide horse at home care (either through injury or whilst you go on holiday) as well as teaching, training and offering ‘horsey’ transport to competitions.

Life for me is very full-on with horses.

I’ll happily admit I’m addicted to riding, grooming, the very smell of my gorgeous mare and working outdoors in the fresh air.

I even write about life in the saddle, tweet away to other horse-mad people and blog about my horse online. Natalie doesn’t mind be yabbering away, propped up on my crutches, whilst she sorts out April.

But time out from riding, even just being able to handle my mare, is definitely affecting me though.

I’m grumpy, fed-up and missing those feel-good hormones you get from exercise and being around horses.

Chocolate just doesn’t cut it and there is only so much Horse and Country TV one can watch.

If you’re an outdoors person, you’ll understand my frustration.

So, as a writer, there is only one thing for it.

All this time on my hands means I need to finally sit down and write the pony adventure book I’ve had in my mind (but never had the time to do). There are no excuses, time to put it down on paper and crack on.

In the meantime, you can follow my horsey blog on my new website on in addition to my Facebook page In The Saddle-Anita Marsh or through Twitter @Inthesaddleblog. Cheer me up and send me a note ... I’ve definitely got the time to answer!