Evie’s review of 2015, written by mum Caroline:
“2015 was an incredible roller coaster ride, juggling health of rider and pony and finding ways to pursue our dreams. In springtime as we awaited Evie’s op there was much uncertainty as Evie’s pony had gone lame (the wonderful Jess who had mentally kept her going through the previous summer and given her the first taste of para show jumping)
We didn’t know how Evie would recover either. Having been initially told 4 weeks off the surgeon said 8 weeks, making it June when she would ride again. Though there was little to see outside there were many internal stitches creating a channel out of her appendix to a stoma on the tummy. It was an incredible boost when Global herbs showed some support and Jess was showing significant improvement on Alphabute.
By June Evie was full on riding again. Her op having given her a body that wouldn’t let her down so much (as long as she followed the rules). The difficulty was there were no rules – it was a case of working out what/when to eat plus a daily saline drip to the stoma which often took 3 hours.
Our biggest problem was no suitable ride as Evie’s lack of leg was soon noticed by several ponies we tried. By the end of June our claim to fame was elimination at every venue in Lincolnshire! We seriously needed a ‘Jess’.
A huge act of kindness in July saw Evie lent an 8 year old schoolmaster called Jerry. He hadn’t competed for some time but with some assistance from Movefree Plus he was perfect for Evie and this partnership achieved wins at National British Showjumping championships at Stoneleigh plus Scope in August. It was a proud moment when Evie was crowned Junior National para grade III champion.
Autumn bought new challenges with the decision to transfer to horses in preparation for the future. Evie has built a wonderful partnership with a beautiful grey called Milton. This mare has the combination of experience, scope and a forgiving nature – essential elements when learning! Alongside this, as advised by National para trainer Philippa Curry, we purchased a 3 year old to train specifically for Evie long term. I took some convincing as this was a scary prospect, but even our local para dressage trainer has asked when I’m putting Evie on board and this will be a seriously exciting partnership.
We’ve realised the difference between success and failure is sometimes just carrying on until you ‘Find a way’. Dealing with the medical aspect alongside obviously throws up huge challenges but having the experiences of 2015 will prepare us for 2016. Sharing our experiences will also assist others not knowing how to cope as we know how terrifying it can be.
There’s so much to look forward to this year with the prospect of Evie working with ‘Your Horse’ to raise awareness of hidden disability and riding. By Evie being open about her condition there will be a greater understanding of the difficulties faced leading to better organisation, and with this in place hopefully more people will feel able to compete, whatever their challenges!”
Find out more about Evie here: https://evietoombespararider.wordpress.com/