Ellie Fritz

Categories: Overcoming
Date: 18 Aug 2016 17:00
My name is Ellie Fritz.  I was diagnosed with epilepsy at 13 years old. I turn 17 this Fall.  My older sister, Abbe, had also been diagnosed. We dealt with it together for one year before my sister lost her battle in the fall of 2013.  
My 14 year old POA/Arabian cross horse, Gypsy, has been considered one that won't amount to much because she's unregistered and isn't the fanciest bred horse. Despite that, in June of 2016, we went to our first UBRA sponsored barrel race and won our first check! Together, we've been able to change the standards and prove people wrong about what can and can't stop us. 
Before I knew about the SAYiWON'T Creed, I had always liked proving people wrong and making them bite their tongue.  When I came across SAYiWON'T and read that creed for the first time, it triggered an emotional effect in me. I knew that it was something I would keep fresh in my mind at all times no matter how difficult the challenges may be. My horse and I CAN do it and we WILL try our hardest to overcome any challenge. 
My biggest challenge has been getting my family to understand that I know the risks involved with riding horses.  What I do is dangerous and could be considered a trigger for seizures.  That is by far the biggest ongoing challenge.  I will overcome it by keeping up with my medications and treatments. That has been a blessing and a relief to my family. I've been seizure free for two years and plan to keep it that way! Though the outlook is positive so far, I've had to keep up with every precaution, such as, always wearing a helmet around and on horses, wearing sunglasses in bright lights/sunshine, and always making sure the audience around me is aware of my medical condition.
If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say "STRONG".  Throughout grieving the loss of my sister, I knew I had to keep pushing myself to get better medically, mentally, and physically.  I think a lot of people could watch me in the arena and not notice a thing wrong, but while I'm riding, I'm constantly thinking of what I'm doing, if something is bothering me, if I feel safe, and would my sister be proud. That takes a lot out of me on some days, especially if my horse or I aren't having a good day.  I'm still able to look past it and know that there are going to be better days... we're improving together every single time I throw a leg over the saddle. 
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Ellie Fritz