Roos Cecil came to Mane Stream in January of 2017 after reading an article in “MS Connect” magazine. The article was about a man with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the many benefits he experienced from his adaptive riding lessons. Roos grew up riding but stopped when she started having symptoms of MS. She considered riding again, but didn’t think a ‘normal’ riding school could accommodate her. After reading the article, she searched online for adaptive riding and discovered Mane Stream!
Primarily an English rider (dressage and some jumping) in her youth, Roos also enjoyed riding Western and trail rides for fun. After riding on and off for more than 30 years she was proficient and really enjoyed the sport. But being back on a horse now can be frustrating. She laments that she can’t do what she used to be able to, but says she definitely feels good about riding again. And she loves being around the horses!
The challenge of riding is the element that Roos loves most. Riding provides a break from her daily life of sitting behind a computer. She says that even when her body doesn’t feel like cooperating, she is always motivated to come to Mane Stream for her lesson. Roos’ PATH Intl. Registered Instructor, Casey McMahon, said “When Roos first started riding at Mane Stream she was so happy just to be back in the saddle. She has come a long way since that first day! She challenges herself every time she rides.”
Roos loves riding Dorito (Thank you Andrea Davey!), and thinks he’s perfect for her needs but has appreciated every horse she has ridden for the experience it has given her.
Casey and Roos have set a goal for her to canter again. Casey said “Roos is beyond dedicated to returning to where she previously was in her riding ability.” In general, Roos wants to get back to where she was when she stopped riding about 10 years ago, before the MS symptoms started. Though she compares herself to her former level, Casey believes she should be proud of where she is now and what she has achieved.
Roos always pushes herself in small ways. She dismounts to the ground instead of to the ramp, which is more challenging for her. She also likes to mount from the smaller block. This pushes her balance and forces her muscles to work before she is even on the horse. Casey says, “She truly is an inspiration and such a joy to work with. Even when she has met her limit for the day, just walking around on Dorito and chit-chatting about things makes her happy.”
Focusing on specific goals during her adaptive riding lessons has encouraged Roos to improve her stamina and core strength. Roos says this gives her a reason to do the exercises she has to do at home. Since MS makes you tired without a good reason, it’s easy to skip the work outs. She now feels more motivated with the horses back in her life! Roos says Mane Stream is a wonderful place - “the volunteers and staff are super-friendly, and I always feel welcome and encouraged. I feel very lucky that I’m able to ride at Mane Stream.”
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