In The Saddle: Slowly getting back on the horse

Anita Marsh
Anita Marsh
  • Knee injury is still keeping me on sidelines
  • Op will hopefully mean end is in sight
  • Looking forward to competing again later in year

Well, it’s been way too long that I have been out of the saddle due to a knee injury from simply running up the stairs.

I’ve missed not only riding, but being unable to walk without crutches and drive.

Quite simply, being injured when you have your horse at home is not the ideal thing to do - especially since it happened mid January, earlier this year.

Prior to my injury I was out riding in all sorts of extreme winter weather at least five times a week.

To go from that to nothing has nearly sent me crazy, that teamed with being mainly sofa bound - I’m bound to have put on a stack of weight, lost muscle tone and being a nightmare to live with for my poor family.

However, the end is now in sight.

Just to be able to walk, unaided, and bring my own horse in will be brilliant

Anita Marsh

Following an operation at St Hughes hospital by the brilliantly talented surgeon, super knee specialist Mr Pacheco, I’m now hoping it won’t be long before I am finally back in the saddle.

Just to be able to walk, unaided, and bring my own horse in will be brilliant.

I’ve struggled over the last few weeks to even pick her feet out and keep them clean from the mud that naturally clings to the hoof.

The weight a horse puts on your knees and legs as you hold their hoof is quite a lot, and I can really tell I have half a tonne of horse right now.

As Spring is finally on its way, I’m looking forward to being able to groom her properly.

I’ve not been able to bend with my knee so struggled to wash her legs or brush her lower legs.

Even walking on the uneven shavings in her stable has hurt without crutches.

Luckily she has been very well behaved, albeit very intrigued by my sticks.

I’ve had some fabulous help, employing Natalie from A Star Equestrian - who has currently been like the fourth emergency service to me.

Mucking out the stable and cleaning all the water troughs in the field have all been part of her duties over the last few months.

She’s been checking her hooves and when my mare gets too dirty she’s washed her tail and legs for me. She’s done all of this with a cheerful smile on her face.

I need Natalie a while longer whilst I recover from the operation.

It’s going to take some time until I can do rising trot or dismount off my horse, but physiotherapy should help.

It’s good to know that during this time my horse has been ticking over from exercise and won’t be too fresh when I finally manage to sit on her back.

April and I have missed out on the spring hunter trials, but we’ve got our plan in action ready for the autumn one at Bagmoor.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to jump then and will be fit to start competing.

So, hopefully all is not lost and I might be fit enough for just one competition this year.

One thing is for sure, I’ll never be running up the stairs again!

* To keep up to date with Anita and April’s adventures in the saddle, visit or follow her on Twitter @InTheSaddleBlog or find her on Facebook too.