Unfortunately horses can be dangerous and sadly I’ve been on the receiving end of a very grumpy one…


I was hacking out with my friend and we invited a new sharer at the yard to come along too. All was going well for the first few minutes as we pootled out of the yard and down the lane. We got to the end and turned left and suddenly, without any warning, Gypsy ran backwards at us and double-barrelled us, twice!!!

I took the full impact of this massive, heavyweight cob’s kick straight to my lower leg. Honestly I cannot describe how painful it was. I thought my leg had snapped in two. Poor old Hooch didn’t know what had hit him. Literally!

Needless to say, that was the end of our ride and my wonderful friend quickly trotted back to the yard, put her horse away and came back with her husband to collect me in the car as I couldn’t put any weight on my leg.

I soon realised it wasn’t broken, but I have got some impressive bruising. I’m sure that Gypsy being barefoot lessened my injuries – I don’t even want to think about that happening with an iron shoe on!

My point isn’t for the sympathy vote, although it does blooming hurt, but more of a realisation not to be complacent. I had never ridden out with this horse before and I didn’t bother to ask how she behaved or how experienced her new rider was and I paid the price.

I since found out that the horse had her withers broken in the past by another horse mounting her from behind and now has major issues with anything even slightly close to her (I was at least 6ft away). When I ride with my friends, like Helen, who helped me here, we know each other’s horses so well that we can ride leg to leg, on the buckle and without a care in the world. It’s very easy to get complacent, especially when doing something so relaxing like hacking and to forget to be vigilant. I wish I had asked the questions “does your horse kick?” “is she well behaved?” and “is there anything I need to know?”

After all, we can know and trust our own animals inside out, but we need to be able to trust the horses and riders in our company as well.

So for me, it’s going to be a lot of the RICE technique for the next few days: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.