13. On hold, but for how long?

Blog 13 – “On Hold, but for how long?”

My goal to event had been put on hold. 

Rather than growing, my “eventer” fund was shrinking.  

Amber had been uninsured due to her age and Gazelle’s vet’s bills had been larger than the cover provided.  

I was no longer competing clients’ horses who had their own transport and was travelling a long way for regular training so wanted to get myself a horsebox with living rather using my trailer and staying in B&B accommodation.

Medical advice was not to ride at all while I had 12niches of titanium in my leg as further injury to it could result in amputation.  

Not riding was not an option but I decided that cross country riding might not be such a good idea until it was removed.  

I was advised that it should be left there forever because it provided stability and it was not causing me any physical discomfort but I felt uncomfortable with it being there on an emotional level so after 3 years I went private and had it removed. 

The process of removal was a complete success but depleted my funds further and it took another 4 to 5 months post-surgery until I was allowed to fully weight bear or ride.  This is a decision that I stand by (literally!) to this day.  With the rod removed and having worked on the complex emotional issues I had with my leg since breaking it the first time my leg now feels and looks like my leg again.

When the final cast was removed from my leg after breaking it the first time I hated that leg.  

It was unbelievably hairy and wasted and I had a 6 inch differential in the circumference of my two thighs.  I was not allowed to stand unaided for a month or so so could not take a shower but could not bring myself to get into a bath with the leg.  I would stand on my right leg, keeping everything else out of the bath while I used the shower attachment to wash it, then get in the bath while hanging my left leg over the side while I washed the rest of me.   

It looked ugly, with a huge bony callous which was painful and I had lost about an inch of length in my leg due to the way that it was set. 

It turns out that this large bony callous was the reason it had broken so easily and badly the second time.  The callous was thicker and stronger than the bone around it and jumping off and landing on an un-level surface meant the forces ricocheted through callous shattering the leg. 

It had broken so “easily” and was so unstable that it took me a long time for me to trust that leg again.  However, given that I did not have a cast on, and although it felt venerable and unprotected it meant that I could see the healing process taking place, not just via x-ray but before my eyes.  I could watch the bruising, swelling, stitching and scaring change and mend and I became fascinated by the process.

Thanks to my friend Anna Gordon-Redmond and to cranial sacral therapy (CST) I began to understand what it felt like to be “in” or “out” of the leg.  
As melodramatic as it sounds I think I had stopped “listening” to my leg, for fear of what it had to “tell” me and had blanked it out - it was not part of me. 

Now, thanks to CST, Kinesis Myofascial Integration and most especially to Functional Patterns (FP) I am in my mid-40’s and pain-free, more mobile and feel more integrated in mind and body than ever.  
Find out more about FP here – www.functionalpatterns.com and the FP I provide at Ashen E.C. here

Because I had thought that is was the titanium that was stopping me from eventing I got back to cross country training as soon as I could once it was removed but I realised that I wasn’t enjoying it any more.  

It wasn’t that I was fearful - I had just changed and wanted to focus on other things.

I regularly coach Confident Rider Workshops (details here) and one of the things that some participants discover is not that they have lost the confidence to do the things that they used to do - they have simply failed to notice that they have outgrown their desire to do them…

Next time "My Guy" published 18th March.

For those searching online for more “instructional” resources than offered in these blogs please make use of my video downloads www.ashenec.co.uk


  1. Becky, your blog is so helping me at the moment! Having broken my spine 2.5 years ago! Dragged myself through the rehab and got back on my horse! Only to break my pelvis a month ago while hand walking my horse! Your words are just what I need!

    1. PS: I am also a Mary Wanless devottee, pilates teacher and completely get that you are more in tune with your body following injury/accident!