I learned to love and train horses as a teenager before I was paralyzed, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have a stable of them living on our property. The nice lady who owns them does all their care, but I am able to visit as much as I want, and I take full advantage of the privilege. My daily sanity-break involves walking the dog and stopping to visit the horses.

The first time I visited them, they were afraid of me or my power wheelchair. I called and called, but they stood back and stared at me. Finally, I decided to ignore them, and turned so the back of my chair was facing them, against the gate. I leaned back, closed my eyes, and enjoyed the sun. About 10 to 15 minutes later, I could feel hot breath on the top of my head. From then on, they have been very comfortable with me.

I knew that horses are smart, but experiencing them after my disability, at a slower and calmer pace, has made me realize they are far more intelligent than I once thought.