Life is sometimes about getting over your fears.  I grew up in a predominately white church and sang in the Junior Choir. At the age of 12, I remember sitting in the choir during a service.  During that service the congregation was told that Cory, a girl just a year older than I, had been killed that morning.  Her passion was showing horses.  She had been at a horse show that morning and her horse threw her off and landed on her, crushing her skull.  From that moment forward, I had a fear of riding horses.

I was fine watching the KY Derby or the Steeplechase races that were held behind my house.  But, when I got within petting distance, I always had thoughts of Cory.  About three years ago, my boyfriend (at the time) and I took a trip to Baltimore.  One of the things we did was go horseback riding.  I was very nervous at first and wanted to stay as close to the guide as possible.  Whenever my horse would speed up, I would tighten up. Mr. Horsie, please don’t hurt me.  But, after about twenty minutes Ienjoyed it and really became at peace with the outing.

I went to Cumberland Falls this June and was once again presented the opportunity to go horseback riding.  And once again my first thought was of Cory. However, I now realize that what happened to her was a freak accident and I can’t let it affect the rest of my life.  I jumped on the horse with a quickness and enjoyed nature and its surroundings.   It was a soothing hour.  I learned that while I can be aware of other people’s situations, I must also understand that we all have different paths and experiences that will affect us in different ways.

M.Y.  August 2007

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