Car crash victim thought she 'would never ride horses again'
FOR many, getting 'back in the saddle' after a setback is a figure of speech.
For one 57-year-old from Upper Tenthill the phrase applies almost too well.
Growing up, Sharon Mildren was always on her horse 'Nosey' and was an accomplished rider, regularly competing in show jumping events.
She scored so many ribbons she was able to sew two blankets from them.
When she was 16, Sharon was involved in a car accident in Ma Ma Creek.
She was left with an acquired brain injury and physical disability and she was unable to ride horses.
More than 40 years after Sharon's accident, communicating is still difficult for her but, as of three years ago, she is back in the saddle.
For the past four years, Sharon worked alongside her UnitingCare support worker Caroline Ryan and the two focused on identifying goals and then working toward achieving them.
"Three years ago, Sharon was very quiet and didn't speak up about what she wanted,” Ms Ryan said.
"But, over time, we started discussing her priorities and identifying where she wanted to be in life.”
Sharon said she remembered the 'liberated feeling' horse riding gave her in her childhood.
She said she didn't believe she would ever get on a horse again but she worked alongside Caroline and Lockyer Valley Riding for the Disabled to tick off the goal.
Now comfortable on horseback, Sharon is looking for more.
"She has always wanted to get back to show jumping; it's all she has ever wanted,” Ms Ryan said.
"We don't know if she will get there but we certainly will keep working toward that goal.”