I started riding at The Shea Center six years ago, back when walking 50 yards was almost impossible. I could barely walk, was one of the quietest and most self-conscious people in my class, and most of all didnít want anything to do with horses. But then I got on a horse, and instantly fell in love. Within the first few weeks, I could tell an improved difference in my walking, and I slowly started coming out of my shell. People that know me know rarely see a moment where I am not talking or happy, especially when I am at Shea. Within a year, I could handle being on my feet for about an hour or two, and I started volunteering before and after my lesson, first a half hour, then an hour, then two hours. When I had surgery on my ankle and was in a wheelchair, I still rode, and afterwards, I would sit in the tack room and clean tack. Once I was back on my feet, I would volunteer half a day on Saturdays, then all day on Saturdays (which for me is 8 hours), then I also started coming Friday afternoons, and on top of that, Thursday mornings. I still ride every week, and have even started competing in local horse shows. Last week, because of the amazing volunteers, staff, and of course horses at Shea, I spent the weekend WALKING the streets of Washington D.C. without a second thought.