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When I was 12, my life changed. For the better. I just didn't know how much it would...

Hi! My name is Jennifer Gill. Please, call me Jen, with one "n", if you please. You see, 51 years ago I was born with a disability called Spina Bifida. This is a disability in which the spine, in the womb, doesn't develop properly and, in my case curves to the left. This is a very basic, generalized description, but you get the idea. Aside from a spinal fusion the summer between Kindergarten and First grade to keep my spine from becoming any more curved, I was pretty lucky to have as normal a childhood as possible.

In my parents' quest to allow me to do anything everyone else did as much as I could (I had become adept at finding ways to adapt to whatever situation I found myself instead of expecting everyone else to adapt to me), my younger brother, Tim, and I were allowed to join the local 4-H program. I honestly don't remember how long we participated, but while we were involved, 4-H developed a therapeutic horseback riding program called Gateway. I was 12 years old when it started on a farm called Kay-My stables near where I lived. I LOVED it!! I had finally found a sport (yes, horseback riding IS a sport) that I could do just like everyone else. I rode with that program from the beginning of it until I graduated from high school.

My prayer in starting this blog is, as you follow along on my journey with therapeutic riding, you will begin to see people with disabilities (if you don't already) as no different than anyone else. My goal is to level the playing field. I can do anything anyone else can do--just differently...

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