My journey began at the age of four, when I turned to my parents (whom had no interest in animals whatsoever, may I add…) and asked for a horse riding lesson. Being a rather introverted child that refused to leave my mothers side, my parents believed that this was simply an impulse desire and that I would take one look at a horse and be petrified. However, much to their bank accounts despair, from the first moment I sat on a horse I was beaming. My first riding lesson was followed in quick succession by Pony Club on Wednesday afternoons after school at Brawlings Farm in Buckinghamshire.
Over the 18 years in which I have been riding, I have been very much privileged in the horses and experiences that have crossed my path. From working on competition and livery yards, training with International Grand Prix dressage riders to schooling a variety of horses up through the dressage levels… I have met a lot of horses, ponies and people which have shaped me into the equestrian I am today.
In 2012 my family welcomed a tiny tabby kitten into our lives. We knew that he would be a trouble from the moment we got him home, as within hours he was climbing the furniture and chasing after our feet. Without much deliberation we decided to name him Louis, meaning “renowned warrior” as he treated the house like a battlefield. During the Christmas period in 2015, Louis suffered a traumatic accident which resulted in him damaging his brachial plexus… rendering his left forelimb paralysed. Consultation with the emergency vets revealed the dark reality that, if the nerve did not show signs of repairing on its own, amputation would be the untimely demise. Whilst cats cope well with three limbs, Louis was the most active cat I knew… and I couldn’t let his freedom be taken away from him without trying everything I could to restore function.
This was my first encounter with the true healing power of time and physiotherapy. Through physiotherapy exercises, rest and time alone Louis was able to restore full function of his left forelimb and was soon out on restricted lead exercise in the garden. I knew from the moment we returned back to the vets a few months later (with the vet in total shock of how much my little warrior Louis had clinically improved) that rehabilitation and prehabilitation was something I was exceedingly passionate about and wanted to be a part of within the animal industry.
In January 2016 I completed an Equine Kinesiology Taping CPD course with Peak Performance Horse Health to assist in my research for my Extended Project Qualification dissertation about Navicular Syndrome. Fuelled with ambition and inspiration, I was accepted to enrol on my current degree – a BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Physiotherapy – in September 2016. After achieving a first class honours during my first year of study, my desire to learn more continued to grow. Since then I have attended a variety of CPD events (including Pain Management for Hydrotherapists by Greyfriars Veterinary Rehabilitation and London Vet Show).
After becoming chronically ill during my second year of study, I persevered to complete my second year before taking a year out from studying to get better. I have used my year away from studying to develop my blog, learn more, improve on my health and also (very exciting!) buy my first horse called Meji.