Multiple Sclerosis drains you. It saps your energy and empties you mentally.
Amy Lacey has found a way to combat these feelings.
She rides her horse Jasmine most days and competes in dressage, show jumping and cross country events.
Her mantra sums up her constant battle against her condition: ‘WHEN I RIDE, ALL I FEEL IS FREE’.
This is Amy’s story.
“Ever since I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis people have asked me whether I should still be riding.
“It still hurts to be asked that because after all, ‘I’m supposed to be ill’.
“Now here’s something. I am ill every day of my life. Every single day.
“I have good days and bad days of course but even on my worst days, my horse, Jasmine makes me feel better.
“When I ride I can forget about being ill. I can just be myself again.
“I compete against people with no disabilities and hold my own.
“It strengthens my body and lifts my mood.
“Both physically and mentally, riding is therapy for me.
“I will never apologise for not living up to people’s expectations of ‘how a sick person should behave’.
“Try to imagine living with MS for a week or even a month.
“Imagine having to live with it for the rest of your life.
“Now tell me: ‘When is a good time to ride’?
“When you are better?
“What if better isn’t an option?
“It is important to remember that MS is known as an ‘invisible illness’ for a reason.
“My biggest goal in writing this is to raise awareness and understanding and, I hope, prevent judgement”.