We catch up with Equo’s south-east brand ambassador Jessica Leroy, who has had a hard time recently – get well soon Jessica! 

Since my last blog it really has been a roller coaster and unfortunately not a fun one. February was going brilliantly, Smokey and I were on top form; we were ready and waiting for the event season to start, and then it all came crashing down (quite literally!).

Smokey had lost a shoe – nothing too drastic there, the deep mud at the moment is playing a big part in farrier call outs. So, because of this I decided one Sunday morning to have a bit of fun in the school at walk over some poles. I went to get on him and then bam, everything went black. I have no recollection past that. In all honestly my whole morning is quite fuzzy, as is my memory of my afternoon; I know I went on a hack with Hektikos and my Dad came on foot but I can’t tell you much more than that.

After my fall, my Sunday carried on pretty much as normal with yard duties and horses, I even got back on and carried on riding Smokey afterwards. After all – as the equestrian saying goes, “If you’re not going to hospital, you’re getting back on”. It was only on Sunday evening that things started to become very odd. I was making a roast dinner and have never felt so sick whilst peeling spuds!

Then Monday morning came. I woke up with a pounding headache, that horrible nauseous feeling again and my neck was agony! I couldn’t move it at all. I was doing a great impression of a robot, quite to the amusement of my other half… armed with a heat pad and some painkillers I trudged into work. We have a lot of big projects going on at the moment and it was not the time to be staying at home in bed feeling sorry for myself.

It was only on Tuesday evening that I really realised that I was not miraculously better and that pain killers were not helping. With the persuasion of a colleague I eventually wandered off to my local A&E. I was shocked when I was seen nearly immediately by the nurse and then the consultant and then promptly carted off for a CT scan of my brain.

Turns out, I wasn’t fine at all. I was on my own when I came off and the doctors think I was knocked out for some period of time, they also confirmed that I had concussion and whiplash. The positive was that I did not have bleeding on the brain so I was allowed to go home. Despite a big fall I was still aiming to get to Tweseldown for our first event of the season.

Sadly the following Thursday (nearly two weeks since the fall and a few days before Tweseldown) it was back into A&E for me with the most unbearable head pain. I can’t even begin to describe the sheer agony I was in, so much so that on the way to hospital my other half had to pull over so I could lean out his car and throw up!

After a few hours at A&E I was seen by a doctor who told me that I now had something called Post-Concussion Syndrome and that I needed to take it incredibly easy and not go to work, nor ride or even go to the yard! He made it very clear that I was to do absolutely nothing. Words that normally fall on deaf ears but this time I obliged.

After being in solitary confinement for four solid days I was bored, very bored. I can now imagine what it feels like to be a horse on box rest – I didn’t even have a treat ball to keep me occupied!

Fast forward a few days, add some more painkillers and an upgrade in painkiller strength and I am excited to say that I am now noticing a considerable difference, I am back at work and even went to the yard yesterday, for the first time in over a week. It was so lovely to see the horses, I’ve missed them! Massive shout out to my Mum for keeping things running ultra-smoothly in my absence.

Nearly a month since the fall and my headaches are still niggling away, I still get dizzy spells and my memory in general is fuzzy, which makes daily tasks quite interesting but we are getting there. The doctors have warned it could take several months before I’m 100% again!

We made the decision to withdraw from Tweseldown but sadly the event was cancelled anyway due to weather. I am getting a new hat this weekend, and are now aiming for Chilham at the end of April. We could have aimed for an event sooner but during this time Smokey has also been suffering with an abscess in his hoof and has subsequently had a few weeks off work so we both need to get our fitness back and get our eye back in the game!

I look forward to updating you soon and hopefully by the time my next blog comes around we’ll be back up and out and about competing again!

Jess x

Want to find out what else Jessica Leroy and Smokey have been up to? Check out their other Equo brand ambassador blogs