Suzanna Hext’s road to recovery blog: I need more hours in the day

  • Drive, dedication, determination and yes, of course, damn right stubbornness to not give up are the four attributes that along with a huge amount of help and support have got me back to the stage I’m at today.

    I’d be lying if I said it was easy to keep going through the numerous tough setbacks. However, the highs, notable progress and the achievements make every minute worth fighting for, especially when I am sat on a horse with a grin plastered across my face!

    My theory is that if you truly want something badly enough there are ways of trying to make it happen. It’s all about how much desire you have to put in the hard yards to get there. You have to be the one to push yourself, as no one else is going to do it for you. And why should they? It’s your aims, dreams and ambitions you’re working towards.

    As one of my favourite quotes states:

    “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great”.

    Making it happen

    In order to maximise my performance it’s been important to have a structured approach to not only my rehab, but my nutrition and assigning some rest time to help my fatigue management (an aspect I am not incredibly good at).

    Oaksey House (home of the Injured Jockey’s Fund rehabilitation centre) plays an integral role in my rehab and keeping me in one piece! I have physiotherapy with Daloni Lucas and sports massage with Rob Treviss every Tuesday.

    The facilities at Oaksey House are second to none. I stayed at Oaksey House as an inpatient in the early days of my recovery and they certainly made a huge difference to my progress.


    My sessions vary. They include allocating and practising specific exercises to work on, sports massage, Compex stimulation therapy and acupuncture.

    The exercises are put together in a programme for me and get altered as I progress or they’re adapted if there are other areas that need attention. My exercises are grouped into two batches — flexibility, which I perform daily, and my rehab progression exercises, which are more testing. These I tend to do three to four times a week.

    Due to the nature of my injuries and weaknesses, I have various exercises to work on improving the specific areas of my body that need attention — almost head to toe!

    In my current sessions with Daloni we’ve been working a lot on my posture, straightness and stability. All of which is not only helpful in everyday life, but that can be transferred across to help me when I’m on a horse.

    Daloni has recently had me writing a daily log of what I am doing each day, when and the duration of time I’m carrying out specific activities for. This is to help give us some guidance as to how much I’m exerting myself without realising it and gaining the right level of exercise to be undertaken to aid, instead of hinder, my progress and performance, and reduce my fatigue levels.


    Schooling Amo at home

    I need more hours in the day

    I’ve never been one for sitting still and watching the world go by. Alongside my weekly trip to Oaksey, I perform the physio exercises I’ve been given when I’m at home, I swim at Westonbirt Leisure Centre a few times a week, ride, work and I have neuro physio at The Oxford Centre for Enablement every few weeks.

    I certainly like to pack in the training, sometimes I think if only I had more hours in the day. Although I think it would be lethal if I did!

    When I’m leading up to a competition I have to plan ahead in order to make sure I get to the competition as fresh as possible. The BEF Excel Talent programme has been extremely helpful in making me more aware of how my lifestyle affects my performance. They’ve made me look at the wider overall picture, making sure I preserve myself adequately.

    Personal best

    Amo strutting his stuff

    Amo strutting his stuff

    Amo certainly decided it was her chance to shine at a competition at Summerhouse, especially as Abira had been taking the limelight recently!

    Continued below…

    Read more from Suzanna:

    Pammy and Lucile’s Amo managed a personal best percentage mark in an advanced medium test of 68%+ to come fourth in a strong class. She was completely on side and answering every question I asked. Maybe I should make sure she get jealous more often!

    Coming up

    With my nephew

    With my nephew

    I’ve got a hectic week coming up. I’m driving down to Cornwall for a hospital appointment, have some wedding preparation for my great friend Abi’s forthcoming big day, my nephew’s christening and the following week I’m competing at the KBIS Para Open Semi Finals held at Wellington.

    “Sometimes the strength within you is not a fiery flame for everyone to see, it’s just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly.

    “Keep going. You got this.”


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