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Maple Ridge horse rider writes about her battle with chronic pain

The Other Side is available at Barnes & Noble
Kat Naud and her horse Kaala Jaadu. (Special to The News)

A Maple Ridge equestrian athlete whose Olympic aspirations came to a sudden end has documented her challenges of living with chronic pain in a new book.

Kat Naud wrote The Other Side last year and it documents how an accident on her horse not only changed the course of her life but how she has had to struggle with chronic pain.

Naud declared at the age of six that she was going to go to the Olympics for horseback riding and spent every year after her declaration training to do so.

She was on track to be able to represent the country when, on Aug. 9, 2015, the day of her 25th birthday, at a competition in Washington, she had a rotational fall off her horse, Kaala Jaadu, where her horse hit the jump, somersaulted in the air and landed on her, dragging her along the ground about three metres.

Naud broke her back and pelvis and was airlifted to a hospital in Seattle.

“That’s kind of what led into the whole journey into chronic pain,” she explained.

Through her book Naud is hoping that other people who are suffering with chronic pain realize they are not alone.

“That was kind of my goal, to take chronic pain out of the shadows,”said Naud, describing it as a dirty little secret that nobody wants to talk about.

She wants to bring awareness that more support is needed for people who suffer with chronic pain.

Naud has also talked about her experience in a TEDx talk in 2019.

Chronic pain sufferers are often only offered opioids to deal with their pain, said Naud, and it leads to addiction.

“Its something I’ve been very, very cautious and careful with because its terrifying,” she said.

And, when pain becomes chronic people stop wanting to hear about it, she said, and then you are left suffering alone.

Chronic pain is real, she said, and people who are suffering need more community help, more government help, and more pain management help.

Naud is able to control her pain by controlling how she perceives her pain.

READ ALSO: Canadian equestrian rider and horse die following accident at competition

RELATED: Petition for equestrian parking spaces in Maple Ridge park gets huge response

Now a seven out of 10, in pain, which for some means they are not getting out of bed, doesn’t bother her anymore.

“I’ve gotten a better handle on it mentally and that’s a huge component because when you lose the mental side of the battle, you’ve really lost the entire war,” she said, adding that it can lead to depression and even suicide.

Writing the book has been cathartic for Naud.

She is reminded when people reach out to her and tell her how much her book has impacted them, that everything happens for a reason and that her pain is part of a journey to help not only herself but others survive chronic pain.

Naud will be signing books from 12-4 p.m. on July 17 at A and T equestrian, 4615 190 St. in Surrey.

The Other Side is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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