Courtney King-Dye Rides Horse in Therapy

Got this from Dressage News

NEW MILFORD, Connecticut, July 21–Courtney King-Dye reports that she has twice ridden a horse in therapy to recover from a serious head injury in a riding accident almost six months ago.

Since being released to outpatient care on June 25, she said she has remained at the Kessler Institute in New Jersey for occupational, speech and physical therapy and additional therapies at the International Brain Research Foundation also in New Jersey.

“I also have now ridden a horse in hippotherapy twice,”‘ she wrote on her Internet site.

“The first time, I was more nervous than before I rode in the Olympic Games!

“They told me it was OK to cry (they were great), but once I was on it was like home. I didn’t know if I’d be able to do what I knew I must, but I did! I knew, for me, I had to separate the riding as a therapy, from the love of the horse. Even though I was working on very different things, it was still work. And once I was off, I let myself love him to pieces! He was great. His name is ‘Dude’ and he was great. I rode so ugly I thank God that it wasn’t on one of my horses… both for me, and for him! But you can’t take the trainer out of the girl. It was a very hot day, so Dude kept stopping by the door. Instinct took over, and by the third time I shocked everyone (including me!) by kicking poor Dude!! He, who is trained to ignore everything the person on his back may do, very obediently ignored my pathetic one-legged kick! I was mortified, but it caused a good laugh!

“I’m still keeping the good attitude, even though the reality of the situation has really sunk in. It is what it is, and I don’t intend to let it take any of my joy away! I know I’m lucky in a lot of ways, and I am constantly aware of and thankful for those things! I have every intention to ride again, at the same level I did before!

“We are also taking full advantage of our new-found freedom away from inpatient! I spent my first nights at home in months! We intend to go home any possible weekend. It’s not many, but it’s great!

“I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to my husband. He has been unbelievably awesome. Also thank you to my family and friends for caring so much. Also thank you to all those people who are reaching out to me, sending me emails or notes, donations or other gifts. It means a great deal to me even if I don’t get to respond to them all because “Lefty” is so slow! So keep them coming!

“I am often asked how I feel about the discussion on helmets. Although I don’t want helmets to be all my accident means, I believe any protection is good. I normally ride my young horses or horses I’m concerned about with a helmet, but being in a hurry, I didn’t get one, and here I am. Who knows if a helmet would have saved me; I couldn’t have made the horse not trip, but I KNOW any protection is good protection. We all know and accept that big animals are unpredictable. Let’s face it, s*#t happens. I happen to be an example of that, and all I can say is, WEAR A HELMET!”


5 thoughts on “Courtney King-Dye Rides Horse in Therapy

  1. What a lovely post!

    I don’t think of Courtney as the poster child for helmets so much as the FACT that even while riding a quiet horse something can happen and you can get hurt. Her horse didn’t do anything deliberate or wrong in this accident.

    I have a friend who refuses to wear a helmet on her horses. They are both older (and mellow-er) than Griffin is and she claims that because of this she is safe. I have tried to point out that they could still trip and fall or step wrong and she could come off. Personally, one of the worst falls I have ever taken was because a horse tripped with me while cantering.

    I have pointed out Courtney’s accident to her a few times (…and she rides dressage too), but still….it’s not enough to get her to put a helmet on her head when she rides. *sigh*

    I think for Courtney to make a full recovery and get back into her riding would quickly overtake any of the “helmet” stigma associated with her fall. She is already setting a beautiful example for people everywhere who have also had bad falls and/or are dealing with fear in riding. By admitting that she IS nervous and still doing it — she is sending the message that others can do it too.

    She is a wonderful role model for horse people of all ages everywhere. Her experiences may give someone else the inspiration and courage to “try” when they might not have had it otherwise.
    …and THAT is awesome 🙂

    • I am so excited to learn of the progress made. What incredible news… to be back on a horse so fast. Thanks for sharing.

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