Emily Maul won the Level 2 Western Riding on Monday despite showing with a broken rib. Photo © GoHorseShow

Riding Through The Pain: Emily Maul Rises to the Challenge to Compete at AQHYA World Show

Emily Maul of Weatherford, Texas has had an outstanding AQHYA Youth World Show so far. This seventeen-year-old scored an impressive 240 in the preliminaries of the 14-18 Level 3 Trail and ended up fourth in the finals with her gray horse, Only Temptation (Lefty) on Tuesday.

This team was also 11th in the Horsemanship 14-18 Level 3 Finals. On Monday, Maul and her horse, Hez Raising The Bar (Junior), won the Level 2 Western Riding and qualified for the Level 3 finals on Thursday.

No stranger to winning golden globes, Maul and Lefty were the 2015 AQHYA World Champions in the Trail. What everyone at this year’s show may not know is that Emily is riding with a broken left rib and has her shoulder and waist taped up to help give her support and ride through the pain.

Emily told us that about a week ago, she was riding and she had some pain in her left shoulder and ribs but didn’t think all that much about it. “I tried to lean all the way back in my saddle to try and stretch it out and all of a sudden something popped. I felt dizzy and I couldn’t get back up. I ended up fainting and everyone told me I was out of it for about three minutes,” Emily recalls. “I was rushed to urgent care where they took x-rays and an MRI and discovered that I had broken my first left back rib.”

Maul continues,” The only thing I could think of is that a few months ago I got bucked off Junior when he was fresh and a young baby was running in a field. He went one way and I went another and I landed hard on my shoulder and hip. I must have had a stress fracture that, when I leaned back, I ended up completely breaking it.” (pictured right with arrow showing break)

Of course, the doctor told Emily that she couldn’t ride for four to six weeks to let it heal, but with a show like the AQHYA World Show coming up, that wasn’t an option for her. She had worked too hard to miss one of the most prestigious shows of the year. “It does hurt, especially when I extend the trot and lope,” Maul says. “I wrap my chest and shoulder with Ace bandages and then with vet wrap. There is not any surgery they can do to help it heal faster, so it just has to heal on its own.”

Maul adds,”What was funny is that the doctor said that a lot of baseball players get that rib removed because it gets aggravated a lot. He asked me if I wanted to get mine removed. I told him no thanks and that I would keep my rib,” Emily recalls and laughs.

Watching Emily ride in Oklahoma City this year, you’d never know that she is riding with a broken rib. “It is rather bittersweet because I finally realized what a great support system I have with my father and my trainers Bruce Vickery and Anthony Montes. They have given me extra support and help during this time. My father helps get me in the saddle, and everyone helps me get ready and tack up my horses. I am so thankful for everyone on my support team.”

We wish Emily the best of luck in the finals of the Level 3 Western Riding on Thursday as well as the NSBA World Show.