The Horse America Made Helping Empow(her): Aislyn Shumway
Published Date: Mar 17, 2021
Aislyn Shumway is a young rider from Texas who has been empowered to overcome many challenges outside of the ring through the American Saddlebred. Aislyn started riding at the age of five and a half years old. Her family started her in horseback riding for therapy reasons to help Aislyn with some disabilities and issues in school. The time in the barn and with the horses served Aislyn well, as her family soon noticed her increased social skills and improved behavior.
In the strangeness of the past year, the Shumway family thought it the perfect time to bring a surprise into Aislyn’s life to help keep her progress going, her own American Saddlebred, Big Dipper. This American Saddlebred served a much bigger purpose than a reward for improving her skills as an equestrian, he has increased her confidence and ability to be more independent. “Before Biggie, Aislyn was not committed to school it was hard for her. She was also having so many breakdowns mentally. Her sense of worth was really low,” remembers Aislyn’s mother Christina. “I can now say she has something to love and keep her from suffering from those thoughts. We are seeing so many more days that are positive! I love Biggie for giving my girl her life back!”
Big Dipper isn’t just impacting Aislyn’s life outside the ring, but the whole Shumway family. “Our family is more bonded and shares in the love of all the horses. Big Dipper has made us even closer as a family! He gives us something to all talk about as a family,” shares Christina. “I have also never seen my daughter smile so big when he walked off that trailer! She has such a sense of pride now. Before these horses were brought into Aislyn’s life I wasn’t sure of her future. Now I’m so excited to see what doors open for her future!”
Aislyn’s mother is tremendously grateful to the team of instructors, trainers, and lesson horses from Mill-Again Stables who have paved the way and help her daughter grow as a rider and most importantly as a person. Christina also has a special message to the horse at the heart of her daughter’s happiness,” Big Dipper thank you for giving my daughter back to me! Thank you for making her smile and giving her confidence no one else could! You give her wings and give her a chance to be free every time she is with you!”
When asked why parents should want their daughters to be “horse girls” and get involved with the American Saddlebred, Christina Shumway had this to say, “Let your daughters ride. Let the American Saddlebreds teach them to fly! To give them a sense of self through this amazing animal. Your daughters will have something to talk about, they will have friends for life and they just bloom and burst with confidence! It is amazing to watch them completely transform through these truly beautiful horses!”
Aislyn’s Saddlebred Story reminds us that every lesson we learn with and through horses are just as powerful outside of the ring as they are in it. The nature of the American Saddlebred is a special balance of remarkable athlete and attentive companion. Saddlebreds everyday are using their intelligence, kindness, sensitivity and many other attributes to help make us stronger equestrians, people, and women.
Want to be featured next?
March is Women’s History Month and we want to celebrate the fantastic stories of strength, enrichment and support that the American Saddlebred horse and community bring to our “Horse Girls” lives every day. In past years, we highlighted our inspiring World’s Grand Champion Women for Women’s History Month and the inspiring origins of women's Saddlebred Story. This year we are looking to focus on those that have found strength, confidence, success and empowerment outside of the competition arena with the American Saddlebred.
If you know or are a “Horse Girl” that has a great Saddlebred Strong Story about how the American Saddlebred has helped you navigate a personal journey outside of the horse world, given you the skills and confidence to fulfill a lifelong goal, or helped develop someone as a person please send to email@example.com, Jessica Cushing ASHA Marketing and Communication Manager, today for a chance to be featured during Women’s History Month.