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CanDoCowgirl Courage Page

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Lydia is a 16 year old girl who uses the can do approach in every aspect of her life. Lydia has a Traumatic Brain Injury and horses have been the one constant before and after her injury. Her love for riding has helped her overcome many obstacles. She has her beloved Bella who started out as her therapy horse. The doctors were not to thrilled with her wanting to take up riding again but she has shown them that with her courage and determination she has been able to overcome the many challenges they said she would never do. Including walking. She knows she may never receive an award check or hold a ribbon in her hands but she goes out to compete anyway with wsca games because of her love for the sport. That and because the doctors told her she couldn’t. This can do cowgirl is out to prove them wrong.

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Hey everyone! My name is Cathy Weaver, I’m just a 25 year old girl born and raised in the Lone Star State of Texas; the tip of Texas that is! Growing up I wasn’t always around horses but I have always had a love for them, I got that passion from my dad. Being a daddy’s little girl, I managed to push his buttons and got my first horse in elementary. He taught me what I know now about groundwork, lunging and basic riding. I always wanted to be a barrel racer growing up and a hardcore cowgirl. Although, through high school I wasn’t very involved with livestock, my main focus was sports all throughout my senior year. Unfortunately, at the age of 17 I faced my biggest obstacle in my life. It was a few months into my senior year and my dad had suffered from a heart attack and sadly passed away. I felt like my world came crashing down around me, I lost the love for sports and realized I had to step up and do more for my family. After graduating high school, I went straight to college and pursued a degree in Agriculture Technology while balancing three jobs. I felt I had to step up and help my mother around the house inside and out. I learned what the meaning of hard work really was. I ended up graduating with an Associate’s Degree and continued my education at Texas A&M University Kingsville where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Science. I’ve been beyond blessed to still have my family and my boyfriend by my side, my mom took on so much being both parents but they’ve all been my biggest supporters. She’s given me that push that I needed to make my dreams come true not just for me but for her and my dad. I received the opportunity to learn barrels and I won my first and only buckle for showing improvement. I wear that buckle with pride and in memory of my dad who always guided me and showed me what determination and never giving up was all about. I’ve always believed in this saying, “It’s not the clothes that make the cowgirl, it’s the attitude and heart.” Even though I’ve faced struggles along the road, I’ve never given up and I will always continue to strive to make my dreams come true. Don’t ever think that anything you want to do is impossible because it is not, and it is never too late to learn. Being a Can Do Cowgirl is all about inspiring others and showing YOU CAN DO IT! So follow your dreams!

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Some say that horseback riding is easy, some say it isn’t even a sport…but I say that working as hard as I have, it isn’t easy, and there is no sport with a team quite like the horse and rider. I grew up taking english lessons, starting to show at the age of 8. I started working to cover the expenses of my lessons during the summers and did so all the way through high school. Always handed the problem horses to work with, I only saw that as a challenge to overcome. At 18, due to hard times, I was forced to give up horses. In 2010 (six years, marriage, and two children later),life changed. I decided that no matter what life was handing me, a horse had to be in it; so I went to the local horse auction and bought a young horse to train. Within two weeks, I had her in the show ring at a fun show. That mare served as my rock through a lot of things in life. Not only had I started college, later in 2010, my husband passed away in a motorcycle accident. In addition to my children, few family and even fewer friends…my horse was one of the blessings that kept me afloat through that trying time. I spent many hours, just me and her, on the trails. Soon after, I started dating one of those few friends, now my current husband, who supports me in so much that it amazes me. At that time, I had to give up riding on the college team because the fees were just WAY too much. Instead, I found an old trainer of mine that had returned to town and back to being the working student I went. It is here that I changed over to the western discipline. I met a lot of new people and started showing western pleasure, timed events, and eventually started ranch sorting. I still have my original mare, Touched by an Angel (Tess) and the horse I bought for pleasure shows, Joes Jazzman (Popeye), but the search for a sorting horse was tough. In January of this year, I finally found her… SS Colors Playgirl, a horse that no one knew of that had been standing in someone’s barn. I had no clue what was in my future. I almost lost her to colic a week later. She was a massive handful when riding her for quite a while. It took me some time, a few bucking sprees, and a broken back to figure out that the mare needed hormone supplements. I couldn’t ride for two months, but came back with a level of determination that no one could touch. Since starting back, my horse and I have been building our names together. We are currently in the running for a top 5 of the year award in Ranch Sorting National Championships beginner division for SC, we are enrolled in the Paint Alternative Competition program and currently sitting second for team penning and have been climbing the charts. It has taken nothing short of courage, grit and determination to be able to make it in life and still hang on to my dreams. I only hope to inspire others and let them know that they are not alone and CAN DO it! Keep your head up! I am honored to be a part of a team who are out to help others. – Sandra Clarke

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