Leona Lewis and her horse. Photo source: PA
British pop star Leona Lewis recently told People magazine [December 21, 2009]:
“I love riding horses, and at Christmas I get time off, so I can really spend time at the stables in the countryside and enjoy it.”
In fact, the 24 year old British X Factor champion has revealed if she wasn’t a successful entertainer she would want to “sit on a farm with loads of horses and all kinds of animals. That’s truthfully what I would do – be a horse lady!” More at YourHorse.co.uk
On Wednesday, December 30, 2009, while fulfilling her holiday riding plans, Leona came off a horse. She injured some ligaments, requiring her to temporarily use crutches. More at NY Post.com
Leona is reportedly ‘fine’ after receiving treatment from injuries sustained from a horseback riding accident in Los Angeles. “She’s fine and will be back on her horse soon,” a source tells The Sun.
Lewis had been out riding the day before New Year’s Eve when the horse she was riding starting galloping too fast, causing Lewis to fall off.
“She went to accident and emergency,” a source confirms. “It was pretty scary. She had quite a tumble.” While Lewis’ tumble was frightening, she has not ‘put off’ riding and plans to return to the stable soon. Leona Lewis official website
Fear is the primary reason a horse suddenly bolts causing the rider to lose control, usually falling off in the process. Desensitization can help a lot to prepare your horse. The first thing you can do is follow a natural horsemanship desensitization program, teaching your horse that things like plastic bags, tarps and flags are not going to eat them. Horse Whisperer Frank Bell offers a DVD called ‘Spooking and Shying’ which shows you exercises to build your horse’s confidence and sense of curiosity.
More recommendations in this article about Madonna’s fall which she attributed to paparazzi startling her horse.
Last April 2009 in Los Angeles, Leona had another fear-induced, injury-causing accident. At that time, the British newspaper Daily Mirror reported a friend of Leona’s said,
“Leona has been riding since she was a child and has never had a fear of horses, so she was really shaken up when the horse turned on her. Something startled the horse and it flicked its head back and smacked Leona full in the face. She was knocked flying by the force of it. She was holding her face in agony.” Leona suffered a split lip. More at MetroLyrics.com
In this case the report clearly states the horse was ‘startled’, so here again, helping the horse learn to overcome his fear, to build his confidence and encourage his curiosity by gentle desensitization is the best preparation. Leona’s April 2009 experience also highlights that being on the ground with horses can be as risky as riding them. Always keep your safety first and foremost in your mind.
It’s wonderful that Leona is healing quickly and is looking forward to her next ride. Your Horse, a British online magazine reports Leona is currently looking for her dream horse. “I’ve scoured the Internet and everywhere looking for the perfect one,” Leona said, adding that she would call it ‘Spirit’ after her album.
How to Stop a Runaway Horse