The Secret Life of McKenna: Ups & downs

The last we heard from junior blogger McKenna Oxenden, things seemed to be on the upswing. This week, unfortunately, she received some bad news.

From McKenna:

Life. It can be a wonderful thing. It can fill you with laughter, happiness, and love. But you want to know the funniest thing about life? That you can be on such a high and all of a sudden it knocks you off your feet onto your knees. Life. It has a funny way about it. Things can change in an instant.

Life in the world of McKenna is on the move–continuously coming and going no matter if I’m ready to stop or go. Gigi is in fine form; she is continuously getting better and better each and every ride. Courtney Sendak has done a stellar job in keeping Gigi up to par and even teaching her a thing or two;) Not to mention she and Gigi have had some phenomenal runs at competitions. I am extremely excited to be able to begin to put together a competition schedule… I cannot wait to get back out there!!!! The future of our sport, aka the Defying Gravity Eventing babies are continuing to blossom also. I am extremely privileged with the fact that I am able to help Courtney out with these extremely talented horses.


Gigi and Courtney in their double clear show jump round at Morven Park

Remember how I said life has a funny way about it? Well just when I thought everything was on the up-swing, I received some very unfortunate news. As many of you may, or may not know, I have been having some extensive shoulder problems. They have been on-going for some time now, however, within the past several months I noticed that something was not right with my riding. After running through my check list, I came back to the only thing that made sense—my shoulder. To make the long story short, we have tried EVERYTHING. And nothing has worked. It is suspected (there is a chance it may be something different–they won’t know until they open me up) that I have torn my bicep muscle up by my shoulder joint which is very rare and usually only occurs in people at the age of 40 and over… there are less than three reported cases of adolescents having them. Leave it to me to get something rare.

Because of the extensive effects this injury is having on me, the only option is surgery. To make matters worse, it is a minimum of four months before you can use your arm at all and six months before you can be back in your sport again.

Yeah, I know, it sucks. It sucks A LOT. I am looking at having surgery last week in July, or first week in August. I’ve already missed the winter and spring season so why miss a whole year? This way I will be able to compete for the majority of the summer.

Like I said, life–it has a funny way about it. How can so many things go wrong with one person? Why do so many things go wrong to somebody that has big plans? And again, like I said, it sucks. A lot of my plans and goals are becoming forced to be re evaluated.

I think I said this before in one of my posts: I’m down, but not out. It throws a HUGEEE kink in my plans but whatever. I’m going to show my bicep who’s boss!

Although my summer will be cut slightly short, I am very excited that I will be working with and for Courtney. I’ve learned a ton, ridden a ton, and had a ton of fun so I can’t wait to see what else is in store! One thing for sure is you will see me sporting Kineso Tape all the time… the only thing that relieves any sort of pain!

When life gives you lemons, make some lemonade. And try as best as you can to avoid the salt and aim for the sugar.

About the Author

McKenna Oxenden is a 16-year-old junior in high school, hailing from Columbia, MD. McKenna is a training level event rider and is currently campaigning the 15.1 Trakhener Cross, “Gossip Girl” a.k.a. Gigi and previously competed 13.2 pony superstar, Dorito Cooler Ranch, through training level. She has worked for CCI4* event rider, Emily Beshear and currently trains with Courtney Sendak of Defying Gravity Eventing. She is also an active ambassador to JustWorld International. When McKenna isn’t busy writing or riding, she is taking photographs and playing in Photoshop. You can see some of her work by liking her Facebook page (Mckenna Erinn Photography).


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