A 13-year-old rider who suffered a spinal stroke in March is on the road to recovery, and her mother has said her beloved pony was instrumental in her rehabilitation.

Keen equestrian Summer was sat on the sofa when she suffered the stroke, and was admitted to hospital paralysed from her waist to her shoulders.

“We spent three antagonising weeks waiting for results and praying for some movement to come back to Summer’s arms and hands,” explained her mother, Liane. She told Your Horse how Summer’s pony, Cindy, was at the forefront of her daughter’s mind during the very challenging circumstances.

“Despite what Summer was experiencing she was adamant that she would ride again,” Liane said. “Daily she would ask the doctors, nurses and consultants if she would be able to ride again and each day they wouldn’t comment. We plastered her ward bay with pictures of Cindy.

“I believe Cindy’s purpose in life was to be here for Summer during this horrific experience.”

Summer was discharged from hospital three weeks after being admitted, with very little movement in her arms and hands, but once she arrived at the yard with Cindy things looked more positive.

From being unable to put on a headcollar, she is now back in the saddle, and continuing to make progress in using her arms and hands.

“Between Summer and Cindy they are working it out,” said Liane. “They have a long road ahead, but one I believe will be a positive one.”

Summer said she wants to inspire other young riders and children, and help them realise that if they have hopes and dreams, to never to stop believing in them.

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