It was in 2017 when i first got the dressage ‘bug’ and decided i wanted to do it as a career. You can imagine my excitement when my dream horse, Zi passed the vetting two years later and was on her way home to me!
We had a great start to our partnership but i never imagined that 4 months down the road we wouldn’t even be allowed to walk. I think the hardest part about acknowledging Zi’s injury was the fact that this would have been the second season in a row I would have missed. After my previous horse sustaining a career-ending injury, Zi was my glimmer of hope that would kick start my career. As always with horses, it never quite seems to go to plan.
After a couple of weeks on box rest, and one month of controlled walking it was all systems go to try and build up her fitness for the 2020 season. I knew a controlled rehab plan would involve hard work and dedication, but perhaps it was naive of me to think it would all be smooth sailing. As well as making great progress, there were many, many moments where i thought it would be game over for us. It was like walking on eggshells. Admittedly, I am not a naturally patient person, so this was really hard for me and I had to learn to pick myself up and carry on.
7 months later, after blood, sweat and many tears, we finally entered the competition arena back at Junior level. It was something that seemed impossible at the time of her injury, but we did it together. I have always known to take extra care of my horses legs, but now I felt an immense pressure to do so; both for myself and my horse. It felt that I had a duty to the vets, the Hartpury therapy centre, my parents and everyone else who helped get Zi back to competition level to protect her leg to the best of my ability. I invested in multiple things to ensure the health of her legs was my priority, but one of the best investments i have made is with HUSK. I always think it’s strange that people put fluffy brushing boots on their horses to exercise (heating them up), and then spend the time after icing their legs (to cool them down)? If the main goal is to cool our horses legs down after working them, then surely it would make more sense to keep them cool in the first place? Prevention over cure, as I was always taught. Zi will never wear anything other than HUSK, especially on her legs, as unnecessary heat could potentially end her career. We need to start viewing our horses more as athletes. We wouldn’t expect Usain Bolt to compete wearing fluffy socks and in his dressing gown...right? So why should be expect any different from our horses? As we’re now training at PSG/Inter I, it is crucial I can do everything possible to protect her legs as the movements get harder. Whenever Zi is wearing her HUSK boots i feel 100% confident that I am protecting her legs to the best of my ability, as well as giving us the confidence in the competition arena. Not only can I actually see the evidence in the products, HUSK also provide a great number of tests that prove what they say is 100% accurate. These can be found on their website under ‘why HUSK works?’. Regular tests are carried out to ensure their technology is true and always in the best interest of the horse. One reason that I am so proud to represent HUSK is that they always push for the idea of what is best for all our horses, and how to improve their performance. I can truly say HUSK has greatly helped me get Zi back to FEI Junior level after her injury, and will continue to support me into my career.