Jodi is vision impaired but she loves to go horseback riding. Please become Jodi's sponsor by making a Monthly Donation!
Congratulations to Jodi, who proudly accepts a donation from Miami Herald Wish Book!
When I was in my mid 20’s, I had to give up driving due to my loss of vision. I have a progressive eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosis. My friend suggested I start riding horses. I fell in love instantly. As a child and teenager I did competitive gymnastics and dancing so it was nice to be in an activity for pure fun and joy. I was fortunate to live where I could walk to the barn and ride my friend’s horses. When I first started riding, I primarily did trail riding with friends that would tell me when to duck to avoid branches. Then I started taking Dressage lessons and entered 4H entry level Dressage shows. It was wonderful. I decided I wanted my own horse but once I started looking to get my horse, it took 10 months. It was a challenge to find the perfect horse that was safe for a visually impaired beginner adult rider. As my vision progressively got worse and my living situation changed, it was no longer safe to keep my horse. I was forced to adopt out my Beloved horse to a great family. As the vision loss continued to progress, I got a Seeing Eye Dog but I really missed having riding as a part of my life. I had attempted to ride at a couple of riding stables; however, I would be placed on a horse that would be dead to the leg. It was not fun. A friend mentioned to look into horses for disabled individuals. I finally found a place that understands that I am disabled but I still know how to ride. My face has now returned to smiling and my heart singing while riding. I feel empowered, happy and peaceful. Particularly, I am very grateful to finally find a horse that is safe for my situation and I am surrounded by people who understand and are trained to assist me. Now I’m back in the saddle again!