After spending the spring season on the sidelines due to an injury, O’Shaughnessey rider Mara Depuy is back in action and ready to make her return to the riding world.
In a normal year, I would be reporting on how the competition season is going, how my horses are feeling, and how they did in their big spring 3-day events. However this year has not been “normal”. So instead my spring report will be about re- direction, physical therapy and humility.
After a good start to the year in, I took a tumble into the water off Coolcorron Kinsale at the Carolina International CIC while riding Liam, an exceptional cross country horse. We both shook it off and despite a sore shoulder (mine) and some skinned knees (his), and walked away relatively unharmed. I returned to riding and teaching and prepared Liam for The Fork Horse Trials in North Carolina. We dropped down a level to make sure everything was ok and ended the competition in sixth place. The week prior as I packed and prepped for the show, my shoulder nagged at me. When I returned home to Willow Bend after the event, a visit to the doctor revealed that I had a torn labrum and partially torn rotator cuff.
As it turns out the injuries were not new, but rather just an aggravation of a pre-existing conditions. This called for a sudden change in plans. Instead of hopping on a plane to coach my students riding at Rolex CCI, I was now prepping for surgery.
Here we are about six weeks later and I’ve been keeping busy with physical therapy- sometimes so much that I feel as if my arm is going to fall off! Luckily my dedication to recovery has paid off and I have been back in the saddle for a few weeks now. I even started jumping again as of 2 weeks ago. I was so happy to be back in the irons! My wonderful horse/partner Liam has been helping me get back into riding shape since he is so quiet and soft to ride. Liam, Mac and Alan all had short breaks during my hiatus and are back in work and jumping. Congo deserved a little bit of a longer break so he is just now coming back into full work. The tentative plan is to head to Surefire Farm Horse Trials with Liam in the Preliminary. If that goes well, I head north to Stuart Horse Trials in New York with Congo and Mac in the Preliminary and Liam in the Intermediate.
This fall I hope to resume our “normal” fall season with Millbrook, Richland Park, Plantation Fields, and hopefully finish the season at Fair Hill International CCI** for Liam and Mac and Virginia International CCI* for Congo.
While no rider ever wants to be sidelined, there is always a silver lining in the clouds. The horses have all come back from the break feeling rested and ready to go. My shoulder feels strong and loose and having the old injury taken care of will hopefully keep me pain-free for a long time to come. I have also discovered what a great team I have behind me including my wonderful sponsors and backers who have supported me and sent lots of positive wishes my way. If all goes well, my next post will be filled with results and pictures from my successful competitions this summer!
- Mara Depuy