An inspirational mum who broke her back in a horrific horse riding accident has found an unusual way to share her love of the four legged creatures – equestrian onesies.
Professional rider Nicky Stevens had only been married for six weeks when she was flung off her horse, breaking both her legs and her back.
Now, 20 years after being told she would never walk again and going through painful treatments and operations, the Tushingham mum is celebrating success in the showjumping community with her range of ‘horse’ inspired onesies for people and ponies.
The mum-of-one, who was a groomer and rider before her fateful accident when she was 24-years-old, said her business really took off when son of legendary jockey Ginger McCain, Donald, bought some of the bespoke jockey outfits for his children.
“They want to put things on before they go in the ring, I am sewing a lot for riding clubs to keep them warm while they are away at competitions,” said Nicki, now 43, who started riding when she was eight-years-old and had ridden all over the world.
Nicky started her business named All Stitched Up three years ago after having her left leg re-broken in a painful operation to straighten it and having her leg encased in a Ilizarov frame – a medieval looking cage with bolts her son Joshua had to tighten every day.
She says she started the business after being inspired by comments from other patients on support groups on Facebook about how their legs were getting cold.
“I started to make frame covers, I had always been able to sew, that is how I started I did them for anyone who asked,” said Nicky, who said she was overwhelmed with orders and working 16 hour days sewing the suits in the run up to Christmas.
“The way these came about was just bizarre, a friend and I were talking about doing something for riders both home and away and she said what about a jockey onesie.
“Before Christmas we had to stop taking orders, I had so many I was going to make myself ill. I was still sewing on Christmas Eve. Horse and Hound ran an article and it just went from there.”
Speaking about the accident which left her in a wheelchair for two years, Nicky said: “He just flung me off and I landed on my feet.
“I broke both my legs and back. It all happened in a flip second. I didn’t have a lot of feeling, I lost a lot of feeling.”
Nicky said she set up the business because she wanted something to do when she lost her job working for a charity after getting her leg restraightened.
“I am still registered as disabled, but it has not stopped me doing anything.”