Florida teenager gets back into the saddle after life-changing injury, loss of horse

Alexis Halbert loves horses and horseback riding, but everything changed in her life last year during a show jumping event in North Carolina.

“My horse, Charisma, took off too far. She put her foot down, it got tangled in the rail and she did a somersault in the air. I went flying, I would have landed on my stomach and I broke my back in half “, remembers Halbert. Charisma died instantly, breaking her neck when she hit the ground. Halbert was knocked out,” I woke up on the floor. “

She added: “I don’t remember the first two minutes, but I was yelling at people to let go, when I came to myself I told them I couldn’t feel my legs and my back was broken. “

They flew her to the hospital and she was right – she had indeed broken her spine. Then his mother must have told him that Charisma did not survive.

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“I was screaming ‘my baby, my baby’ so loud that they had to close the doors to my hospital room when I was in intensive care because I was so strong,” she said.

Some doctors feared she would never work again, but others said she would. Fortunately, the latter were right.

“Ten days after my accident, I started wiggling my toes again,” said Halbert. “And every day after that another muscle group would come back.”

Her mother, Liz, said the outpouring of support from their community was huge, telling FOX 35, “I have two boxes full of cards and letters that we kept to browse, people from all over the country. I would spend maybe three hours a night texting strangers. “

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Alexis started walking again a month later. Soon after, Halbert knew she had to get back in the saddle.

“It was amazing,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve been really this happy since almost my accident and when I first walked again.”

Alexis says she hopes to attend nursing school after graduating from Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne. This way she said she could help others the same way she got help.

Since her accident, she has also been promoting the use of an equestrian safety vest from the “Horse Pilot” company. The airbags inside the vest inflate when a rider falls from a horse and protect them from injury.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest news from Central Florida.

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