31 Days of MS: Riding a Horse Works Wonders for a Man

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Photo courtesy of Tyler Campbell

Day 11 of 31

This is Tyler Campbell’s (@tcspeaks32 ) story:

At 22, I was suffering from paralysis and even erectile dysfunction. I felt so lost and yearned to be found. I needed a friend, someone to lean on who wouldn’t judge me — someone who wouldn’t laugh at my uncontrollable twitch, my right leg that dragged, or my slurred speech.

Then it clicked: “What is that one thing you have always done in life that has set you free, TC?”

It was and has always been, sitting in a saddle on top of a horse. Sweet T was her name, and she had a coat the same colors as an Oreo. She looked just like Little Joe Cartwright’s horse from the 1960s TV show “Bonanza.” When I looked into her eyes, it felt as if her gaze had a direct pipeline to my heart. Best of all, my physical limitations never bothered her.

It felt as if she were preparing me for something special. As if she would take me to a sacred destination. Those long rides with Sweet T through the countryside in Tyler, Texas, brought me so much peace. I even felt greater circulation flowing from my waist down. Mentally, it was as if I were finding my footing.

When my good friend from college, Ms. Watson, moved close to east Texas, I knew exactly what to do.  I was supposed to share my world of family and horseback riding with her. That equated to long summer nights filled with conversations that I never wanted to stop. We shared our first kiss in a movie theater parking lot. I was falling head over heels in love with her and longed to be more than just friends. We were married Sept. 16, 2011, and every day since has been a summer night that’s yet to end. We now have three children and, as their father, it is my duty to teach them how to ride.

I owe Sweet T the world; this, I feel, was all due to her. The old saying is true: “The outside of a horse works wonders for the inside of a man.”

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.

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