I'm not the typical equestrian. I'm a little different than the rest. You won't know it by looking at me, but managing to fulfill my dream of riding horses came about in a very unexpected way and with very unexpected results and challenges.
After being diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other multiple chronic illnesses at the age of 35, I was forced to rebuild my life. I needed something to motivate me and give me a reason to want to get out of bed and fight the disease. I love my children and my husband, but we all need to pursue that one passion that is "ours." I wanted to pursue my childhood dream of owning my own horse and enjoying it to the fullest extent possible. I was done hiding away from the world and being "sick." Oh, I'm still sick, very much so, but I no longer let it define who I am.
I knew that I would need to make adjustments to be successful due to my disease. Just as my father had to make adjustments as a paraplegic to live a fulfilling life, I was determined not to let my disability take my dreams away.
I've found there are good days and bad days, but it never fails. If I manage a portion of the day with my mare, Filly, it is always a good day. I also found myself surrounded by inspirational people who had overcome serious horse accidents, yet come back full force, determined to ride and have horses in their lives.
Parades are my favorite all-time activity; trail riding is a close second. I am also a member of a drill team. When I first joined, I wanted to ride fast and hard in the drill so badly! I tried extremely hard to get to the point where I could do the seven-minute high speed routine. Unfortunately, what I found was that my body cannot take the physical demands that are required to ride rodeo drill. I was disappointed, but do not count it as a failure because I still ride in parades with them.