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10/20/11 3:39 P

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Hi, my name is Annie and I've just joined this group today, but am wondering if there's going to be some major activity going on here as some of the posting seem rather old, and I see you are minus a group leader... emoticon

I'm a girl who needs an active group... hmm, not necessarily a BIG group, just a group of wonderful caring individuals who know how to kick a girl's butt when she needs it, and can offer huge doses of encouragement, support and of course a GREAT online *hug*! I sure hope to find that here with this Sparks team because it sure seems we have one VERY big thing in common... an ENORMOUS passion for our equine babes!

Let me throw my story out there...

I'm 45 years old and my weight gain has stopped me from riding my horse... I use to be extremely fit and active... I spent two years in Australia rock scrambling and hiking in the outback, I use to always canoe and kayak, and loved extreme activities, and then 10 years ago I was involved in a workplace accident that drastically altered my life...

2 years in rehabilitation, and 8 years suffering from severe panic anxiety disorder! I would never have thought in a kazillion years this would happen to me... I always lived life to the fullest, but suddenly between medications, inactivity and a raging fear to step outside the gates of my home, the weight just kept coming on fast and furious...

Once my injuries had healed, I still found myself capable of riding, but as my weight starting climbing, instead of checking myself, I just started to buy larger horses... It was a good way to enjoy my equine time and not have to face my personal demons... problem was, my herd of babes was growing along with my waist line... when I hit the point when I was riding a beautiful 18hh Clydesdale named MacDuff and couldn't go trail riding anymore without bringing a fire ladder to try and mount him out in the bush... I retired from riding altogether!

That was two years ago, and let me tell you, it REALLY sucks to be the one sitting with the truck and trailer while your husband, children and friends are out riding the trail and you're reading the latest Harlequin Romance western stories instead.

Now that we only have the one son left at home, I decided to sell and place all our horses into new homes last year with the exception of my husband's TB Gelding, our youngest son's pinto filly, and my most favourite TB mare... From 14 equine treasures down to 3, it's been a big change, but then again, changes are good... sometimes you have to clear the closet and start with a clean slate before you can put everything back in order again...

My order began 7 weeks ago when I decided to go back to school at this mid-life age and beat the illness that has kept me trapped for WAY too many years... I began a course designed for women to help them gain new direction and change their career path and in doing so, I am now preparing to go back to college to become a Funeral Director...

Just being able to leave my home and converse with people again is a miracle... but the fact that getting out and being social has pushed me to eat right and start hustling my backside again is INCREDIBLE! Indeed, I have lost 20lbs since September 15th and I have a goal to be back and riding my TB mare by May 2012...

For the summer of 2012, I don't want to be sitting at the truck and trailer reading a book, I want to be in the saddle enjoying my girl and riding with my husband and son as much as possible before I buckle down for two years of college... and any help and encouragement to keep me moving towards my goals is a godsend!!


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