The Inner Light
By Betty Boyd
Kathy Davidson has an inner light that is bright as a sunrise. She expresses an internal glow that is hard to beat. She has had multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1991, but you wouldn’t know it. The most common symptoms of MS are tingling, numbness, loss of balance, weakness in one or more limbs and blurred or double vision.
Her prognosis was very grim, and Kathy knew there was a long road ahead. Picking herself up, finding a great specialist that aided in the fight. There is no cure for MS, and at times she has been depressed, but has kept on battling the weakness in speaking and walking.
Kathy has had to hide the effects of this disease because it carries a stigma, and when there were issues with her speaking or walking made her strive even more. This disease became so depilating that she had to downsize her life and quit a well- paying job.
Kathy knew there was more to life, so with the help of her sister Carol, they independently found Beyond Limits, which offered the hope she was looking for. Kathy has always loved horses, and in 2013 went on a journey that to this day, has changed her life.
You have a sense of power and confidence in handling a 1500-pound animal. Kathy has learned to canter, to ride faster and even perform in horse shows! Each person is matched to a particular horse based on each other’s personalities.
Riding horses has helped Kathy with body awareness, strength, and balance. Therapeutic riding has given her back the ability to walk and talk even with multiple sclerosis. Kathy has been with the program for 5 years and is also involved with volunteering. She has helped other riders with the opportunity to learn life skills as well improve their own core strength, balance, social skills, and memory. In addition to riding, the riders are able to groom the horse with different brushes and even clean their hooves!
Kathy is more active because of the tremendous chance given to her in therapeutic riding. “I have a bigger family and support team because of Beyond Limits. I am helped socially, and interaction with the kids, parents, therapeutic riding instructors, and volunteers makes life better,” comments Kathy.
Working as a volunteer keeps Kathy uplifted, smiling with a better perspective. Seeing how the kids are fighting gives her a stronger will and brings her joy. Kathy realizes, “I must try to do as much as I can for myself. It is not just about you, but about others.”
Kathy cites, “the animals touch and reach your soul.” The love she has for the horses and the people of The Barn has given her courage that otherwise would not have been achieved.