Woman left stranded with a broken back after falling from a horse is rescued thanks to geography app

A mother left stranded with a fractured back after being thrown off a frightened horse was rescued thanks to a location app pointing paramedics to where she was.

Occupational therapist Rachel Moyes, 41, was trapped on the ground, in agony and unable to move, in an outdoor riding arena near an isolated barn.

Unsure where she was, she managed to reach her mobile phone that was tucked into her riding boot and used the what3words app to guide paramedics to her location after she fractured four vertebrae in the fall in June 2022.

Rachel, who lives in Midlothian, Scotland, with her partner, Gordon Cooper, 45, her two children, Patrick, 20, and Oliver, eight, and Gordon’s children, Daniel, 18, and Amy, 10, said: “There was nobody around when I fell and no one would have heard me if I shouted.

“I was completely stuck.

“It was only by chance that I had what3words on my phone, so an ambulance was able to come and rescue me.”

Rachel had been riding horses for most of her life when the incident occurred.

She said: “I didn’t have traditional lessons, but I just loved horses as a kid and there were a few horses close to where I lived.

“I used to go up and pat them and, aged 10, the owners started to let me get on and ride them.”

She added: “I bought my first horse aged 20 and have had horses throughout my adulthood until eight years ago, when my last horse died.”

Since then, Rachel has been riding horses owned by people she knows in her local area.

She said: “I’m quite busy day to day so, while I used to ride twice a day, I now only ride about once or twice a week.”

She added: “My friend has a farm just down the road and she gets me to go down and do exercise and bits and pieces with the horses.”

On June 28, 2022, Rachel went to the farm to train with a new horse.

She said: “He was a very frightened horse who was nervous of people and new situations so I spent a lot of time just on the ground doing some training exercises.”

I think my bum touched the saddle for about a second before he bucked and threw his head down to the ground, sending me flying.

Rachel added: “We were at an outdoor riding arena next to the barn which was across the road and a couple of fields over from the farm and I thought he seemed ready for a ride.”

And Rachel admits that what happened next was a mistake.

She said: “I knew that he didn’t like people getting onto the saddle from the ground because it pulled on his back slightly but I’d left the stool over at the farm and didn’t want to go back for it.

“We’d made such good progress that I thought he’d be fine, which he wasn’t, and it was completely my fault.”

Rachel says she has experienced a few bad falls from horses but she had never broken a bone. Rachel with another horse (Collect/PA Real Life)

Rachel who is an experienced horse rider with another horse. (Collect/PA Real Life)


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