In the Saddle: Kacey’s ‘back’ in the saddle

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After a shoulder injury I'm now riding my horse, April, again after some time out. Luckily for me though it wasn't serious unlike a friend of mine, Kacey Chapman, who broke her back whilst out competing in cross country.

Kacey is only 26, but is a hugely experienced horse rider and was out competing her friend's horse at the Caistor Hunter Trial in August last year when she lost her balance over a fence and went straight over the horse's neck and head.

She landed badly and knew in an instant that she had hurt herself, but at that point she had no idea just how bad things actually were. The hunter trial was suspended whilst first aiders rushed to Kacey's side where she was immediately transferred by ambulance to Grimbsy hospital.

Despite finding a break in her lower back, the doctors needed to see exactly how bad the break was, but following the CT scan it was apparent that Kacey required surgery immediately to avoid being paralysed. Kacey was warned she may never ride again.

However, what doctors and surgeons don't know about horse riders is that we truly are addicted to our equine buddies and that it takes a lot for us to stay out of the saddle. Kacey is no different and despite her dramatic fall she sat on her new horse this year. An amazing achievement (yes, she's the only woman I know who bought a new horse whilst recovering from a broken back!)

She's back in the saddle and taking it very, very steady. She was told it could take a year, but they didn't know how strong Kacey is. She's determined to event her youngster in the near future and has not been put off jumping at all although she will have to build up to this slowly.

I'm totally in awe of Kacey. She's a tenacious woman who I find a complete inspiration and I wish her, and her new horse, a fantastic future together. Well done Kacey!

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