“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain / For promis’d joy!”Robert Burns
When I heard that Krista Pollock had declared for the PanAm Games in Santiago Chile I contacted her and asked if she would be willing to do an interview and I was pleased that she agreed. She would have her Grand Prix horse Heidi at the barn next to the one where Biasini is staying.But the best laid plans of mice and men…. as they say. I was shocked to hear just over a week ago that Krista’s horse has sustained a serious injury and was on stall rest.
I got in touch with Krista and asked her if she was still willing to do an interview. I thought that any followers who have horses would know how an injury can flatten any plans we may have . And for those followers who do not have horses they would be interested in knowing how she was dealing with this devastating diagnosis. Here is the interview.
Tell me what your original plan was prior to Heidi’s injury? You had declared for the Pan Ams. Was this your first time declaring for a team? Why did you decide to declare with Heidi?
It is not the first time. I had declared another horse called Taipan some years ago.. This was after my son was born. Heidi was my next up and coming horse and my coach Belinda Trussell said it was time to come down to Florida . It was a 2 year plan and setting up for a better season next year. Timing was good. Heidi was going well and I could leave my business and family so things lined up for it.
Heidi’s strength is piaffe and passage so we would have competed in Grand Prix.
Tell me what happened and how did you get a diagnosis of Heidi’s coffin bone fracture.?
She was resting her leg but was weight bearing.It presented like an abscess. Farrier recommended x ray and I contacted Palm Beach Equine and they came and xrayed the foot and it showed a break in the coffin bone.Heidi before the injury and now after the injury. Krista spends time with Heidi every day.
They think that she kicked the wall and that it how she caused the break. I sent the xrays to my vet at home and also consulted with the surgeons here and they recommended a cast shoe. A cast shoe has a metal plate and bar shoe( a shoe with a bar across it to stabilize it) to support the foot.We will wait for 30 days and then we will re- x ray. She is a hot mare and needs to be kept quiet so she has to be sedated. She is also on supplements to help with bones. It is important to have her sedated as she is used to being in work and so she is very fit and not used to being stuck in a stall all day. If she was not sedated she might get agitated and make the injury even worse. It is sad to see her sedated as she is usually such an active and interested mare.Also we have to guard against injuries that result from compensation. We are trying to be ahead of that by keeping her as calm as possible.
What have the vets said to you about the future?
They have said they are cautiously optimistic. But she’s an older horse and what does that mean for her coming back to Grand Prix level.
How have you been dealing with this terrible change of plans?
It’s a lot to deal with and it hit so quickly. I have to be honest with myself and I could feel myself going down the dark road. I was going from crying to angry to crying and I didn’t like that as I am always an optimistic person so I knew I had to do something, I decided to see a sport psychologist to help me unravel the thoughts and feelings and to keep them in check as best I could. Because I didn’t like the road I was going down. We’re quick to say I’m tired or I’m hungry but not I’m really sad today . I felt I needed some guidance to help me. I Googled Sport Psychologist in Wellington FL and she was one of the few who still meet in person and I wanted sessions in person. I am trying to be proactive with myself too. She has given me some different tools to help me to regroup.
When I came down I thought everything fell into place and that meant I was in the right place. I took the leap. I believe you have to be brave enough to take the leap but in a second Boom it was all gone and it didn’t work anymore.
But you have decided to stay down here .Tell me why?
I am staying as my family, at home, are fine with me still being here and there is so much for me to learn here. Olympian Robert Dover teaches at the barn I am at and Belinda Trussell, another Olympian, teaches at the barn next door and Belinda has lessons with Olympian Debbie Macdonald! I can learn a lot from sitting in on those lessons and listening even thought it is bittersweet as I cannot ride. Also there are clinics that are held here given by dressage masters and I can learn from those as well even though I don’t have a horse to ride . So I have not found a silver lining to this yet but I am looking for the positive. Everyday I spend time with Heidi.In this photo below we are looking at dressage videos.
Krista and Heidi before the injury.
I’d love to hear from you!