“I wasn’t thinking about managing. I was terrified I’d never ride again”

When Jemima Green was paralysed from the waist down after a car crash, she thought she’d never be able to ride again. She was wrong – this is her story.
image © Jo Hansford https://www.johansfordphotography.com/

My passion for riding started when I was just two years old. I had a very fluffy 12.2 Welsh pony who took me through pony club and many open fields and embedded my love of horses. I knew this was how I wanted to live my life, and so chose a career working in eventing and producing my own horses. I worked my way up to my dream job as head girl and second rider for a top 4* eventer (Jodie Amos). This all changed in 2015 when I was involved in a very serious car accident, which left me paralysed from the waist down. My parents, brothers and family were, of course, devastated. I too felt the same – but I wasn’t thinking how I was going to manage my new life. I was terrified I would never ride again.

Jemima with her first pony, a ‘very fluffy 12.2 Welsh’ called Dinky

Hard climb back
I started with the fantastic Riding for the Disabled (RDA) charity, which supported and encouraged me
(with hours and hours of walking round next to me while I just tried to stay upright in the saddle. I had
no idea it was going to be this hard).
The fabulous RDA horse, Pandora, was so patient, and looked after me even through our first wobbly
trot strides. I had little confidence that I was ever going to be able ride properly again but each time we
got me on there was always a step further and the confidence built.

Jemima in the hospital, not long after the accident
Para Dressage rider Jemima Green and her horse Elrite from the Festival of Dressage at Hartpury College in 2021. Jemima is an athlete on British Equestrian’s World Class Programme, funded by the National Lottery via UK Sport. Image © British Equestrian / Jon Stroud Media

Competing against the best After months of hard work, I managed to finally progress to a different pony, Bubbles, and we managed to start my para dressage competition experience. She was the perfect stepping
stone to get back to what I felt was normality, and to prepare me for the years ahead.
In the near seven years since I became a paraplegic I have managed to compete against the best. I have won international competitions, and I am now supported by the world class programme.

Para Dressage rider Jemima Green and her horse Elrite from the Festival of Dressage at Hartpury College in 2021. Jemima
is an athlete on British Equestrian’s World Class Programme, funded by the National Lottery via UK Sport.
Image © British Equestrian / Jon Stroud Media

I am looking ahead to the European championships in 2023, which I am focusing my training on, and I cannot wait for the season ahead.

Follow Jemima’s season on her Facebook page Jemima Green Para Dressage

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