A few years ago I had a bad fall and it put me off riding for ages, in fact I completely lost my confidence. Now my daughter has a pony of her own and I'm really enjoying having a four-legged-friend around. Although she does a lot of the work after school, I still have to help out now and again. My confidence handling horses is definitely coming back but I still have my moments when I'm inclined to panic - turning him out at the gate, picking up his feet, that sort of thing. I really would like to get back into riding. I still haven't had the courage to get on Mickey yet but he's a nice gentle cob and I know he'd look after me. I don't want to turn into one of these hyper-cautious mothers who won't go onto the yard without a body protector, hat and high-vis jacket, but I don't want to get injured and go back to being a nervous wreck again either. Help!

It's great news that you're enjoying your daughter's pony and that your confidence is returning. It's also great news that you're being sensible about your personal safety, so don't beat yourself up about it. You have to do and wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident.

If you don't want to wear a body protector for handling Mickey around the yard, you might be interested in the Body Guard Jacket from Mountain Horse. It's a practical waterproof coat with concealed protective pads at vulnerable points of the body, such as chest, shoulders, lumbar region. It looks and feels like a normal jacket and the flexible pads soon warm up to mould to your body shape. It's amazing how much more secure you'll feel with just a bit of extra protection - and it's invisible so no one will know.

Although the jacket can definitely be ridden in (it's got a two-way front zip and rear saddle vents), it doesn't replace a body protector and does not have any safety certification. You won't be able to use it for competition when you get that bug!

You're lucky to have found such a lovely natured cob, your daughter had better watch out, she may soon be sharing him.

 Remeber - It is essentail to wear a current-standard properly fitting hat when riding‚Äö√Ѭ∂.