No one survives life’s toughest challenges alone. Sometimes we have our family, friends and medical professionals by our side to help us. And sometimes, the most important thing we can do is learn from other stories of survival. When we meet people who have not only experienced something similar but actually came through it better and stronger, it provides hope and inspiration. We invite you to Share Your Story of “Surviving & Thriving.” Your words could be just the thing someone needs to keep moving forward. Share the gift of hope.
As told by Donna Lindhal:
My 14-year-old daughter committed suicide in 1993, leaving me with her prized possession, a yearling foal named Truly … and with a slow growing fear of riding horses.
The root of my fear was “feeling out of control” in life. I reached a point where I was too afraid to even climb up into Truly’s saddle. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing worked. I was terrified of what I loved most, riding horses.
People did not understand my fear and neither did I. It was unreasonable. I was ready to hang up my saddle but a sudden thought, a memory of riding with the focus being on rescuing a fallen rider on a trail, gave me one last clue to try.
I began studying mind, emotion and body language and I developed a “way” to overcome fear.
I AM back in the saddle (at age 64, and with bone-on-bone hip and knee arthritis) and love riding bareback — it makes my hip feel better.
As I worked my way back out of fear, I carefully recorded the process. I knew I had to share the “how to” with other people who were baffled and controlled by devastating fear. In the horse world, a “bombproof horse” is one that doesn’t spook, a calm confident horse. People who are afraid of riding are told “get a bombproof horse.”
Well, I HAD a bombproof horse; Truly wasn’t the problem, I was! My horse needed a bombproof rider! I wrote a book sharing my story and steps and exercises fearful riders can use to get themselves back into their own saddles and I’m happy to help people overcome fear.
That’s me on the cover of my book riding bareback and giving a bareback lesson. Sometimes uncertainty looms up but I use my tried and true “exercises” to squelch fear. I will be riding horses as long as I can get my leg over the horse’s backs!
Who would have thought that losing a child would set into motion paralyzing fear – but the important part is that it is possible to find ones way back out of fear!