Life can change within a spilt second…

Overcoming any life challenge, whatever it may be is tough. You will ask yourself why me, and when will this all be over until you burst. However, this just simply doesn’t change anything. Deep down you’ll know this, but it doesn’t stop those recurring thoughts.

Turning your life back around, sometimes involves adapting to a different life to what it may have previously been or without someone you love.

To arrive at this stage feels like you’re treading water, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Surrounding yourself with the people you love helps to ease the pain and helps you to grow stronger.

Abira

Abira

Giving yourself time is essential, as however much support you’ve got around you, nobody will fully understand how you feel or be able to take away what’s happened.

It doesn’t necessarily get easier, you get stronger…

I am in general a great believer that ‘things happen for a reason’. Although, I’m not sure this is always the case. It just seems plain unfair at times. Battling through life’s hurdles makes us put life into perspective and cherish the little gems and how truly incredible your family and friends are.

During my rehab, goal setting was a huge factor in helping me to progress. Doing this helped me to focus my mind on something other than the daily challenges. Without even knowing it I was moving forward day by day. This can be applied to any life experiences. Achievement will help the body heal and grow stronger.

Another factor in my recovery was having inspiration from others, either from people who have been through similar experiences in their life or who have always had a very positive attitude and outlook.

I couldn’t have got to the stage that I am at now both physically and mentally without the support I’ve had. I still have a number of days when I get frustrated, and wish my life could be different, but life’s moved on and I’ve adapted and made a different path for myself, which is equally as exciting.

On Amo holding Abira

On Amo holding Abira

My adapted life is far from what it may have been or what I thought it may have be a few years ago when I had my accident.

When you have an accident or life changing incident, you might feel as if you’ve lost your identity, who you are and how people remember you. This is most definitely not the case, you are still yourself and the person you were previously. Don’t let it define you as a person.

I have always been a physically active person, any form of sport and I’m happy. This didn’t change, I just had to focus it into another direction and actually being me, has helped allow me to achieve my goals.

I’ve been amazed by the generosity of others in helping me achieve my aims. I remember my incredible physio in Cornwall and me discussing bringing my saddle in and having that as my next aim. I would sit in my wheelchair and have my saddle on my lap being wheeled into hospital for my appointments. I would just grin from ear to ear, an achievement that really gave me a boost. I was finally feeling like me again.

From this day on my world has turned around and has gone from strength to strength. This boost made me realise that no matter what, I wasn’t going to let the rest of my life be defined by what happened.

Talking of which… I’ve had an exciting couple of weeks!

I’ve been selected onto the BEF Excel Talent Programme, performed my first demo, I had a photo shoot for the Daily Mail and Abira has been in winning form at Solihull Para.

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The power of the horse is a mysterious and pretty magical thing. Don’t just think that because I am not letting what happened define me that every daily obstacle has just vanished, as they most certainly haven’t. However, my happy place is being back in the saddle and surrounded by the power of the horse. It’s a place where I can feel like I am on a level and forget about any challenges I have come across that day. I just smile, breathe, relax and focus my thoughts on how I am riding and the horse’s way of going. Maybe slightly crazy I know!

The last couple of weeks have been incredible in so many ways. Probably my most exciting snippet of news was being selected onto the BEF Excel Talent Programme.

I am really looking forward to what lies ahead. The help that we will get will be invaluable in enabling us to improve and succeed. I could most definitely do with some help from the nutritionist! Especially with my cooking track record — not my strong point.

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I also performed my first demo for the Royal Agricultural University (pictured above and below riding Abira). It was fantastic to see my old lecturers, Peter, Jo, Meriel and thank you to Andrew for organising the afternoon. It was slightly surreal in some ways, as my memories of being there were very different to that of my situation now. I realised that my lecturers have been following my progress and this meant a lot to me. I thoroughly enjoyed talking and riding in front of the new students. They even asked quite a few questions once they got going! I remember being like that not so long ago!

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On form

My latest competition was a para one at Solihull. I just took Abira and he was certainly on winning form. He felt fantastic from start to finish. I even managed to get a nine in my second test. I was over the moon, it gave me a huge buzz to have him feeling great.

My next big competition with Abira is at Bury Farm para international. I’m also very much looking forward to doing some more advanced medium music competitions with Amo and doing my first prix st George.

Food for thought

I guess what I am hoping you’ll take away from this is either some comfort in the fact that life does throw some tough challenges in everyone’s direction, however large or small along the way. You just never know what’s around the corner, so take a step back when you can and cherish some of those special days and look after each other. Just being there for someone helps more than you think…

‘I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become- It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find its way’

Suz