Rachel's Full Story

By the time I was two years old, I was bareback atop a little Shetland pony named Jeannie. My hobby soon turned into training as I began taking riding lessons at a hunter jumper barn. Then I started taking lessons at a Saddlebred show barn. Those years lead me to multiple competitions, a win at the National Championship and placing second at the World’s Championship in Louisville.  My path was clear, riding horses was my future.

website tawny 2.jpg

Unfortunately, soon after Louisville, due to some family health issues, we had to sell our horses. I felt forced to give up my passion for horse riding. My heart was broken and my dream was buried.

My passion for horses never fully died and for the next several years I would “dabble” in anything horse related. In 1999 I started working at Dixie Stampede as one of the equestrian performers. I also learned how to trick ride and raced ostriches. Yes, I said ostriches. 

But over the years and through all of these experiences, my dream of riding my own horse grew dim.  As I got married, I began to to get comfortable with the thought that I may never ride again. As everyday bombarded me with "to do lists," cleaning the house, raising four boys, ”Mommy I need this and that's," and unsustainable expectations that I put on myself as a wife and mother, riding with passion just seemed to drift further and further away. 

As I stepped into letting my dream go something truly amazing happened. My husband surprised me with a horse!  A four year old Appaloosa mare named, Tawny. 

You know, all successful riders learn one thing, "When you fall off a horse, get back on and ride!'  Tawny has been that for me, a second chance to really ride.  And with this second chance comes a responsibility...to keep dreaming.  

Since getting Tawny, I've become an enthusiast for everything riding.  Endurance racing is my new favorite thing.  And I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

I used to think dreaming was selfish.  That’s just not true. Dreaming not only brings encouragement and excitement to the dreamer; but it has the ability to impact and inspire others in a powerful way.  If you get one thing from following my story, I hope it’s this, IT’S OK TO DREAM! 

I’m learning this, IT’S OK TO DREAM! If I stop dreaming, if you stop dreaming, we will not become the best version of ourselves.  I know it looks impossible at times — when circumstances hit us with something we just aren’t ready for or when life throws a curve ball — but I believe that even moms need to dream.  That’s what Strong and Crazy is all about. 

I believe the world needs more dreamers. If you’d like to support our team please reach out. In the meantime, by following my story, I hope you are encouraged and inspired to dream!