For anybody who has had a bad experience with their horse, lost confidence or suffered injury, this story is one that might resonate with you. A couple of weeks ago I went over to Rockinghams Farm, where I have visited a couple of times before, to meet Melissa and her beautiful mare, Indie.

And these two have been through quite an ordeal, together. But are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Indigo’s Joy is a ten year-old, coloured Irish Sports Horse and Melissa has owned her for four and a half years, now.

For the first three years of their partnership, Melissa was confidently bringing Indie on as an event horse, which Indie was seeming to enjoy, competing successfully in local dressage and showjumping at 80/90cm. However, in February 2015, all of that changed.

Melissa was planning on taking Indie out for a hack but Indie had other ideas. This battle of wills ended with Indie rearing, falling over backwards and landing heavily on top of Melissa.

Melissa broke her back, hip and pelvis in three places. Obviously, this put any plans on hold and Indie and Melissa’s future hung in limbo. For the first six months of her recovery, Melissa wasn’t sure where to turn next.

he accident turned Indie into a nervous wreck and obviously shattered Melissa’s confidence, too. She decided to try some groundwork and began having lessons to help with this. Melissa tells me that it was the groundwork that bought Indie back down to earth and turned her back into the loving mare she knew.

Melissa has now started the rebacking process. And as you can see, she even managed to confidently sit on her for our shoot, which I think was a huge milestone for them. Melissa tells me that she feels that their relationship is now even stronger than it was before the accident. Indie now has three months off, ahead of her, because Melissa has just had a further operation to aid her recovery.

In the meantime, she will continue to work with Indie on the ground and does plan to get back to competing, with her, one day. For now, everything will be done slowly but surely and Melissa is happy to just plod around the woods, until they are ready for more.

My hat goes off to Melissa for her determination, courage and perseverance with this gorgeous girl. I don’t know if I’d have been so brave. Thank you so much for having me, Melissa. It was a pleasure to capture your love for this little horse on camera. And I wish you every success with her in the future. I will certainly be following your progress!

Specialist equine portrait photographer, blogger & vlogger. Essex based, travelling throughout the UK.