From a very early age, my parents instilled in me a sense of respect and compassion for the animal world which I have carried into my adult life and tried to nurture in my own children. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t have cats purring at my feet or dogs greeting me at the door at the end of each day. My love of animals has enriched my life in immeasurable ways, so when my then nine year old daughter announced that she wanted to start taking horseback riding lessons, I enthusiastically supported her interest. Secretly, however, I worried about the financial investment (horseback riding is not cheap), her level of commitment (her track record in the extra-curricular activity department was less than stellar), and most importantly, whether or not she would be safe.
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