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I can’t cross the street by myself. Nor do I know what I look like.

But give me a horse and eight fences and I am unstoppable. In fact, I am one of the world’s top, legally blind equestrians. Despite a debilitating disease that left me blind in one eye and threatened to do the same to the other,  I continued to compete at the highest level.

Though I strove for perfection, my riding fell short of excellence, and I blamed my disability for my failure. And then, one fateful day, a mistreated, filthy little horse came into my life. Taking a leap of faith, I named him Milo, and promised him he’d only know kindness and love.

Over the next year, I nursed Milo back to health and our bond grew so strong, I’d swear we could read each other’s minds. I knew our relationship was unique, and I could hardly wait to begin competing on him. However, the countless delays, painful surgeries, and the battle to keep what little vision I had took its toll. But Milo was always there to rest his head on my shoulder and breathe softly into my ear.

After each failed surgery and every disappointing doctor’s visit, Milo’s strong shoulders were the ones I cried on. Even after going completely blind, I refused to let go of him. With the love and support of my mother, I made it back into the saddle. Milo rose to the challenge and with him as my “seeing eye horse,” I finally became the rider I longed to be.

My journey with Milo is more than a tale of hope and perseverance. It’s a love story. And while love may not conquer all, Milo proved that I didn’t need eyes to see.​

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