On October 13, 2007 while competing in a Denver rodeo I got bucked off, landing face first and broke my neck. I fractured C5 and C6 vertebras severely damaging my spinal cord. I lay in the dirt unable to move my arms or legs. After enjoying six years of riding bareback broncs it would be the last time I nodded for the gate. This incident would leave me paralyzed from the shoulders down. Through months of intense physical therapy and rehab I learned to walk again! To the dismay of my doctors I took my first therapeutic horseback riding lesson on June 20, 2008! Two rodeo friends of mine heard of my success with therapeutic riding. They understood I felt safe and comfortable riding gaited horses as they are so smooth. l was then and still am dealing with extreme balance issues. The girls surprised me by giving me one of their older, gaited horses. No more precious gift has ever been given! Let me tell you about my horse! Khan was foaled on April 20, 1987. He is registered with the Racking Horse Breeders Association of America. He has the distinction of being a retired mounted patrol horse. When he sees me dragging my saddle out of the barn he meets me at the round pen. He comes when I call him. He stands patiently as l push the saddle up his side. He is happy to have the job of carrying me around our small ranch. It is only on a horse with Khan's training, experience and temperament that I would ever have the confidence to ride while home alone. Having been a former professional modern dancer and champion bareback bronc rider I feel bound and restrained living in a body with Central Cord Syndrome. A spastic body that can no longer run or jump or hurry in any way. It is only on the back of a horse that I am like everyone else. It is only on the back of my horse Khan that I am free.
Khan will be twenty-five this year. He has eaten Purina Equine Senior since he has been with me and always will. He deserves the best I can give him!
Lisa LeAnn Dalton