Michelle’s Final Update.

Taking part in an AAAF sponsorship has been an amazing experience that I’m so happy I decided to apply for! Learning how to ride a horse has always been something on my bucket list. I wanted to experience the feelings of liberation and self-assurance that come from horse riding, but prior to the sponsorship, I didn’t have the financial means or confidence to do so.

Having a sponsorship was helpful on an emotional level on those days when I felt like shying away from the world. I’m a naturally introverted person, which alopecia tends to amplify, so the responsibility of having sponsorship and regular lessons pushed me to step beyond my comfort zone and remind myself that life is about living and refocusing on what makes me feel empowered and healthy.

Being at the equestrian centre for my lessons was also beautiful. Getting to horse ride right beside the ocean and with sweeping views of the hills was picturesque, and provided opportunities for reflection, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Some of those reflections included reminding myself that people are far more focused on themselves than someone with alopecia. Especially when you’re doing a sport, when everyone is mostly focused on developing their skills or, in this case, not falling off their horses!

I’m so grateful to AAAF for providing opportunities like these sponsorships for our community. The benefits for me have been long-term, as I now feel emboldened to engage in new and different physical activities that I hadn’t felt brave enough to try before. (Some of the sports I’d like to try next include karate and archery, to name a few.) I’m also excited to continue working on horse riding in my own time to take advantage of those longer-term effects of fitness and self-reflection. Thanks, AAAF!


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