Because of the disease I was born with that made me unable to run or climb things that needed hand strength which made me very miserable as a child because I was so terrible at PE class. It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal as an adult but as a child being different, in any way, is a curse as kids aren’t honest they are mean. I am not saying that they are necessarily mean on purpose but by saying whatever they think without the filters we learn to use when we are older that from the “mouths of babes” come very hurtful statements. I was lucky to have discovered riding horses at the very young age of six and when I was riding on a horse it gave me the sense of the power and strength that running and having normal muscle strength provides to those who are not handicapped. It gave me an entry into the “normal” world by allowing me to experience being as strong and fast as the next person when I was on my horse and allowed me to temporarily escape from being handicapped. As a child that was so important to my feelings of self-worth and I thank the beautiful and mighty horse for allowing me to experience the thrill of going fast and walking on rocky trails that I would never have been able to experience on my own legs. I think that horses can be very therapeutic to anyone who can’t experience walking on their own legs in the woods, or to climb a mountain, or anything that requires the ability to walk to truly experience the joy of doing things that require legs that work. If you have a handicapped child, or even a handicapped adult for that matter, in your life that hasn’t ever experienced the joy and power that riding a horse can give you please make the effort to let your loved ones have this experience. I have enjoyed the freedom that horses gave me from the age of six on into my adult life and have had many a wonderful trail ride that allowed me to experience the beauty of nature up close and personal from the back of a horse. Freedom is the wind in my hair on the back of a strong and beautiful horse.
Me & Mary Lou on our horses