Update from Brand Ambassador Grace

Hello, I am Grace Shayler one of the incredibly lucky Crosby Saddlery Brand Ambassadors. It’s safe to say I haven’t had the most straightforward last 12 months with my horse. Boyce, my very lovely homebred, went lame in March 2020. I rested him for 6 weeks at the start of lockdown, but it didn’t help. Once the vets reopened, he went in for a full lameness work up.  After nerve blocks showed he was lame in his fetlock, the x-rays told the full truth. Boyce needed to have an operation to remove multiple fragments of bone from his right hind fetlock joint. The surgery was a success and he had multiple 2.5cm pieces of bone removed. He had gold standard treatment and had stem cell injection 4 weeks post operation to promote new bone growth. However, Boyce had a reaction to the stem cells and went hopping lame. After determining it wasn’t an infection in the joint, we just had to wait for his body to calm down from the reaction. Then he had a steroid injection to finally settle down inflammation and reaction. Then we waited. He got turned away for another 6 months rest and recuperation. 


I have been asked so often how I kept going and stayed motivated in this rehab. Well, honestly, at the time it was hard, but he is completely worth it. What helped me was:

Having a plan

For me having a plan to follow really helped. I tried to frame what was the part of his rehab I could influence, even when he was off. Whether that was booking him for regular physio treatments, doing his daily exercise prescribed or giving him a daily full groom to help with blood flow around body. 

Acknowledge the small steps forwards 

No matter how small of a step forward we made with his rehab journey, I tried to see them as a win. Even it is was tiny, like being able to go from a stable size turnout pen to a 20m X 15m. Although this was very small in theory, knowing he was out walking on his limb more was and seeing a much happier Boyce and really filled me with glee. 

Looking back at past performances

Though at times it was hard to look back, it is so good to remember what we are capable of when we are both fit. It is also great to see how well trained he is and know that I trained him. It fills me with so much pride and accomplishment. Also, seeing what we have already overcome gave me the reassurance to know we have done it before, so we can do it again. 

My support network

I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. My friends and family have been great for keeping me going. Helping me see the small wins when I wasn’t seeing them. I have also found great support from my online community. The fact that people reached out in support that had never met either of us was really heart-warming. Not forgetting the support and understanding I have had from Crosby Saddlery. They have been lovely when times were hard. This has helped me keep my focus and continue to look forward. 


Although I wouldn’t say I have enjoyed the experience of Boyce’s journey back to health, I would say I have developed as a person. To be able to see the bright spots in any situation, is a great skill to have developed. 


I am pleased to say I am back on board and have started his ridden rehab on my vet’s instructions. It has taken 11 months from when he first went lame. It is so nice to back on board behind my beautiful boy’s bright chestnut ears and back in my super comfortable Crosby Monoflap Event Saddle. It’s like a match made in heaven. 


I really hope the next blog I write for you; we will have even further good news about how we are getting on and our adventures back to eventing in summer 2021 (fingers crossed). 


Speak soon and all the best,


Grace x