When an automobile accident left Torey permanently weakened on her left side, one special horse named Tigger gave her back her freedom.
My first life ended six years ago on a dark slippery road in New Zealand: an automobile accident left me with in a coma with a severe traumatic brain injury half a world away from friends and family. It was the horses that brought me to New Zealand and it was the horses and their “people” that have given me a second chance at life.
I had to literally start from the beginning, learning to swallow, speak, walk and most importantly to live again with horses. My therapy started with a pony that came into my rehab room in New Zealand to encourage me to use my paralyzed left side. It continued with therapeutic riding where I sat up straight and square for the very first time. Other horse angels have helped me as well (Sammy, Sunshine and Buttons) but none as much as my new partner Tigger.
My injury has left me with a weakened left side so mounting has always been tricky. No matter how long it takes, Tigger stands quietly at the picnic table (he’s 17.2 hands high,) not moving a muscle until I’m safely aboard. My left arm sometimes has a mind of its own and can become quite flappy when I’m tiring. Losing my left stirrup is a frequent problem but throughout all of this he carries me safely wherever I ask. We have begun jumping and have competed a little. He is always taking care of me and making sure my ride is a safe one.
I know that my unevenness makes his job more difficult and takes a toll on him physically. He is pampered in every way I know how. I can never really repay him for the gifts he has given me of motivation, courage and most of all, freedom.
Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!