Mackenzie T. is a 17-year-old sophomore in a small town in southern NJ. She developed her love of horses when she was 5 years old. Her mom purchased a yearling Registered Quarter Horse, and Mackenzie was the very first person to sit on his back, the very day before she went to DuPont Hospital for bilateral hip de-rotation surgery (she also endured cervical spine decompression and fusion just before her second birthday).
After spending several months in a full body cast and going through physical therapy to regain her strength, Mackenzie decided she wanted to ride horses on a regular basis. She started taking weekly lessons at a local Equine Therapy Program, and although she enjoyed it, she wanted to do “more” than be led around at the walk. She wanted to ride independently just like her mom and older sister. The search began for the perfect horse for Mackenzie. We needed to find something quiet, kind, level-headed, gentle, and comfortable for Mackenzie to ride. After searching for several months, we found the perfect mount for her.
Mookie came into Mackenzie’s life when an equestrian from Indiana heard we were looking for a special horse for Mackenzie. She felt this would be the perfect “forever home” for her long-time horse, Mookie, who was a 25-year-old Thoroughbred. He was a former race horse, jumper, dressage horse, as well as a therapy horse. The rest is history. Upon his arrival to us in NJ, he helped give Mackenzie the independence she craved and taught her a lot about herself, which greatly helped with her self-confidence. Mackenzie loved Mookie and rode him every chance she got, up until he reached a ripe old age and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Since then, Mackenzie has shown three wonderful horses very competitively and successfully against riders of all ages, abilities, and levels. She has such a strong love and compassion for horses, and we’ve never met a horse who doesn’t adore her. She can get her current horse, Tony, to perform better for her than he ever has for anyone else. They have a mutual bond that is beautiful to watch.
Mackenzie also has a passion for theater. She has been involved in school plays and musicals as far back as we can remember. She takes acting classes and voice lessons on a weekly basis and will perform in our area’s Broadway Bound Players musical this summer.