Mitt and Ann Romney ride horses

(Terri Miller/Handout) - Ann Romney with her horse, Super Hit, in a 2006 photo.
(Terri Miller/Handout) – Ann Romney with her horse, Super Hit, in a 2006 photo.

Stay at home mom’s do it. Working mom’s do it, as well as many students and working or unemployed ranchers. They all enjoy horseback riding.  Like the butcher, baker and candlestick maker, we all have our areas of expertise, hobbies and passion. So what’s unique about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney discussing his love of horses and his wife’s passion for dressage riding?

To some, horseback riding is an elite sport. To be clear, the Writing Horseback blog has nothing to do with politics. I simply want to highlight and bring to your attention an equestrian, Ann Romney, who also happens to have Multiple Sclerosis and a passion for dressage riding and horses.

Horseback riding a temporary vacation from Multiple Sclerosis

According to an article on Life in Spite of MS, one of the things Romney most attributes to her continued health is her participation in dressage riding. She won’t reveal the number of dressage horses she owns, but calls her participation in the sport “joy therapy.”

Dressage as rehab

Ann Romney took up dressage during the time of her rehabilitation from her first Multiple Sclerosis attack in 1998. Back then she was sometimes too weak to even sit in the saddle. Now she competes with the best in the field and is a winner of top amateur medals. She won the 2005 Silver Medal and 2006 Gold Medal at the Grand Prix level from the United States Dressage Federation.

In an article written by Ned Martel of the Washington Post, he quotes Romney as saying, “My horses rejuvenate me like you can’t believe” she told Fox News last week. “They give me balance. They give me energy. I think it’s because I love them so much.”

Romney’s horse World Cup bound

The U.S. Equestrian Federation confirmed in March of 2012 that 15-year-old Ralafca and rider Jan Ebeling (Romney’s riding partner and trainer) have been selected as one of two pairs to represent the U.S. in next month’s World Cup finals. They are also one of 43 duos hoping to win a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

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