“My horse never saw me as a disabled rider. He never saw my disability at all. And that’s because when I’m at the barn, just enjoying what I’m doing, it’s hard for me to do anything but just be myself.”
Lauren Reischer, born with cerebral palsy, gave a TEDx Talk at Dalton School in New York City in early February, describing how therapeutic riding and the indescribable partnership with horses helped her not only develop physical strength and capability that doctors and family never thought possible, but find mental and emotional strength as well as true self-respect as well.
Lauren’s personal journey from attempts to totally disregard her disability to learning to accept it as part of her identity and part of learning to respect herself began on the back of a horse. While Lauren describes her experience with therapeutic riding, she’s really discussing courage and how we as individuals can accept our best selves. Listen to her talk:
“Riding was a mechanism that I learned how to use as a way to embrace. It was an activity that showed me through patience and hard work that I can learn to actually work in symbiosis with my disability instead of denying it or working against it. And I think that we all probably have a proverbial horse in our lives that enables the progression of our sense of self. And courage, I would say, is not only learning how to ride that proverbial horse but to absorb all that it can offer you.”
Lauren Reischer, your words are an inspiration!
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