Saddled for Greatness

The Outside Life of a Student Athlete

Emily Clark, Copy Editor

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On January 30th of last year, Meredith Parker suffered a traumatic fall that left her with a small brain bleed and a massive concussion. You would think that fighting for her life in the hospital for two days would have deterred her from ever going near a horse again. However, this was not the case for Parker. A dedicated rider, she began riding horses again as soon as her doctor allowed, demonstrating her dedication and and passion for horseback riding.

Inspired by her aunt, who was a horse trainer at the time, Parker began riding horses in the second grade. Horseback riding has been a favorite pastime for her family throughout many generations.

“I just kind of grew up with people who liked horses.” Parker said.

However, unlike many of her ancestors, Parker took this love for horseback riding to a competitive level and began attending Southern Hills Riding Academy. She has won numerous awards for her performance in Eventing which includes Cross Country, Stadium, and Dressage.

In addition to the strong bonds she has formed with her horses, Parker has made many human friends throughout her horseback riding career who inspire her and encourage her passion for riding. Parker recalls that they were always there for her when things seemed rough.

Meredith Parker (pictured 4th from right) attends summer camp with a few of the many friends that she has made while at Southern Hills Riding Academy.

Horseback riding has helped Parker to open up and make new friends.

“I’m usually a shy type of person, and I still am, but I’ve been speaking out more.” Parker said.

Overall, Parker’s love for horseback riding has helped her to become a more outgoing and easygoing person.