Re: back into riding
Best wishes to all of you. I had a nasty accident 3 years ago. I fell off a young horse, hit a metal gate & fractured vertebra number L5. I had 18 months off and getting back was not easy. I thought that my own horse was a bit sharp for a first try so I booked a lesson in a riding school. Did a bit of walk & trot, felt really chuffed, got off and fell over!! Legs not quite working, seemingly.
However, with OH leading me up the road at first, me and horse got back together and we re-discovered the joys of hacking out. He is very spooky , and was even more so after 18 months off, so it was sometimes a bit hairy. Like you, jixer, I didn't have the bottle that I had before. I made loads of excuses not to go out (wind, rain, time). Found that visualising doing it right, deep breathing and TTeam touches on the horse made it all a bit easier.
Now I am going to a lovely riding school once a week and last week jumped 2ft 6!!. Next step will be to take own horse for a lesson and try to do likewise. My friend goes with me and she is getting back to riding after 20 years off. So it can be done.
Sorry, but we live in Cumbria, so can't help with the "hands on". But wish you all the luck in the world.
By the way, I am 61, so it's never too late.