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When I first had my head injury I got referred to Evan, a behavioural optometrist. I did 9 months of weekly rehab with him and was fantastic. Works on signals from brain to hand, eye vestibular etc. anyway after rehab all was great in that regard.

After months of constant headaches in January this year I had a bit of a turn (unrelated to my head injury) which affected a few things but particularly my balance. I already had had the ok to start riding but with the headaches and stuff I hadn’t felt like it.

Anyway the turn, and resulting tests, made me very motivated to get back into it. Needless to say things weren’t so simple . I struggled with simple things and felt my eyes would shudder a lot. I thought maybe was just panic... My fatigue got worse and it was just hard.

During a lesson with Jeff he suggested I try glasses riding. It made me realise I should go back to Evan. The results of test were shocking to say the least. The shuddering wasn’t infact panicking while riding as it happened a lot in his office . The testing below, the top grid is my first lot of tests. First standing only. A firm board measures how many corrections you have to make to stay upright. First one wasn’t too bad. 16 corrections, being bottom 47% for age.

Second was eyes shut. I made 37 corrections which was bottom 8% for age.

Third was standing on foam eyes open. 39 corrections bottom 16% for age.

Fourth was on foam with eyes closed. A MASSIVE 205 corrections and in the bottom 0!!!!%.

He said riding a horse affects balance and that’s where a lot of my vision problems were coming from as was concentrating so hard to stay balance I couldn’t do much else.

Even prescribed me some nifty glasses with strips down the middle to help with the shuddering (made it virtually non existent) and while I’m used to wearing them now I still get a shock in photos .

Anyway 6 months of weekly rehab and the bottom row is the results! First two top 96% and 83%. Second two still need some work but bottom 20% and 26%. Evan thinks if I had my glasses on in the third one would have got better results!

And my headaches have eased!!! We think because it was so much effort to keep upright it was causing the fatigue and headaches.

This isn’t a pity post at all! Just more... if you’re having trouble sometimes, you need to look outside the square! I feel so lucky to get this help and be able to enjoy my ponies!

Just to add, everyone including my neurologist is very happy for me to ride and not to do with my concussions.

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