Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Sarah Rose, here’s what you should know about Sarah…
Growing up in rural Nevada, Sarah Rose’s affinity for horses began at an early age. Raised on a ranch with animals of all types – and without a lot of outside entertainment – she grew fond of the companionship of horses.
“I grew up in the absolute middle of nowhere in Nevada,” she says. “The town had 400 people – I had six kids in my graduating class – you know, there wasn’t a heck of a lot to do. So, riding a horse was my thing.”
Her riding, coupled with an interest in art and drawing forged a path where the two would be forever linked. At 14 years old, however, Sarah was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, an inherited and progressive neurological disorder. What began with issues affecting her calves and ankles, later spread throughout all of her legs, requiring her to walk with braces, crutches, and today, with the assistance of a scooter. Although the disease has taken away most of her ability to walk, it hasn’t stopped her from continuing to ride horses.
“It sort of just makes my disability not matter when I’m on the horse,” she says. “I can do what everybody else is doing, I can go as fast as they’re going, I go to the same places they’re going, for as far as [the horse] wants to go. It’s only when I get off the horse that it’s that apparent again.”
And although most riders use many facets of their lower bodies while on a horse, Sarah has learned to adapt in a way that keeps her in the saddle and in control. In many ways, the horse serves as her legs.
“I’ve had people say, ‘Why are you riding a horse when your legs don’t work,’” she says “But to me, why wouldn’t I be riding a horse? My legs don’t work! Of course I’m going to be riding a horse. Everybody whose legs don’t work should be on horses.”
When she’s not riding, she’s pursuing other interests, most notably her career in sculpting. After a childhood riding and drawing horses, she worked for a time in taxidermy. Combining her artistic talent with the opportunity to form and shape animals, Sarah began exploring sculpting as more than a hobby. Today, she works as a sculptor fulltime, focusing most of her creative energy on a subject she’s cherished her whole life; horses.
Today she continues to ride on horseback, averaging as many as 12 – 15 miles a day, as well as participating in monoskiing – an adaptive form of snow skiing. Despite having limited mobility on her legs, Sarah stays active and sees her life as full and challenging as anyone else’s.
“I pretty much do what I want to do,” she says. “If I want to do it, and there’s a way to do it, and it’s still going to be exciting and dangerous, and have the same risks as it would for anyone else, I’m probably going to do it.”
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Transcript coming soon