A DEVASTATING AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT LEFT HOLLY JACOBSON WITHOUT HANDS, BUT IT DIDNT TAKE AWAY HER MOBILE FREEDOM OR THE ABILITY TO PURSUE HER EQUESTRIAN DREAMS.
From a young age, Holly Jacobson had a passion for horses. I stopped riding for 14 years after a severe burn injury and amputations of my right arm and all my fingers, she explained, but the horses called me back.
She started with basic lessons near her home in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Her sense of balance returned gradually. Today she rides her own quarter horse named Shadow. When I was younger, riding and jumping gave me thrills. Now in my 40s, it gives me a sense of well-being and peace, Jacobson said. In the saddle, I feel alive and attuned with the wider, natural world.
Jacobson drives a 1996 Subaru Outback modified to allow hands-free driving. Without my trusty Subaru steed, I would not be able to get to the barn every day in all weather or compete, Jacobson said. It easily traverses muddy fields where heavier SUVs get stuck.
Jacobson has pursued certification for steward status at New England horse shows. That contributes extra income, as well as allows her to meet a more diverse group in the equestrian community.
I think a lot of people had doubts and worried when I left the city of Cambridge after 12 years, Jacobson said, but moving back to the country is where I belong, and driving gives me the freedom of independence and expands my ability to try new things.
She continued, I love horses for their beauty in the way they move. Riding gives me the feeling of being a part of that grace and power.