Faith and Commitment – A Young Girl’s Journey Can Inspire Us All

FullSizeRender (19)FullSizeRender (22)To connect with a horse is amazing. In fact, the power of the horse to heal the human spirit is phenomenal. This is the story of Faith, a young woman with cerebral palsy as told by her cousin, Lauren. Highlighting Faith’s journey by horseback that led her to place second in her division of Western Equitation in the Special Olympics, Lauren sees Faith’s journey as both courageous and triumphant. Faith is a regular rider at BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center  and truly defines the term “brave.” Her journey is an inspiration to us all. Thank you Lauren Smith, for submitting Faith’s empowering story to Women Connect4Good.
My cousin, Faith, can’t see more than three feet in front of her horse. That didn’t stop her from coming in second in her division of Western Equitation in the Special Olympics though. Faith fills me with hope. She is so carefree, and not concerned with any outcomes. She’s just in it for the love.
I know that Faith is braver than I am too. I have never been able to commit to anything, but Faith has committed to riding for ten years. She is braver than most of her non-disabled peers. I fell off a horse once and refused to get back on, but Faith has guts. Practically blind, she rides horses as often as she can and puts all of her trust in an animal ten times her size.
Faith has attended BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center for the past ten years and has never had any fear. In the beginning, she was taught to hold the reins “English style.” Now she holds the reins and rides with the posture of a professional. What most people don’t realize is that when Faith is riding, it takes all of her strength to fight back the pain.
Faith has nothing but love for those who accept her, and her trainer Sarah has always done just that. Sarah lets Faith try and take risks, and through the years has become another mother to Faith. Not everyone has been as good for Faith as Sarah has. There have been a lot of people who wanted to help, but hindered her instead. Sometimes people are too cautious, other times, too lax. Faith doesn’t want people to see past her disability, she wants them to work around it. That means, people need to modify or adapt to her world. At nineteen, she is crying for independence and to be understood.
In addition to her carefree, brave, and loving demeanor, Faith is funny. She is persistent too, determined to learn how to be independent despite the challenges brought by having cerebral palsy. Even though she graduated two years ago, she still attends high school in a transitions program that teaches her life skills like balancing her checkbook, cooking, and looking for a job.
Trips into the community vary, but she loves anything that has to do with horses. From the farm run by people with disabilities to grooming horses, Faith finds encouragement and inspiration in new situations. In fact, she would love to volunteer at a therapeutic riding farm, or teach riders, because she loves horses and she loves people. In her future, Faith sees herself as a recreational therapist, able to live and use transportation on her own.
To truly see Faith, we only have to look to her recent Special Olympics placement and medal ceremony. Faith and her trainer, Sarah, rode out to the field for photos. Sitting on hay bales, the photographer posed Sarah, Faith, and her horse Chica. When they were posed, sitting back to back, Sarah leaned over and whispered to Faith, “I love you.” Faith almost started to cry,. While I looked at her in awe I realized, I would give anything to be like Faith.

Scroll to top

© Women Connect4Good, Inc. All Rights Reserved.