THERE was a day when Sharon Boyd thought she would never ride a horse again.
It came three years after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and after suffering her third debilitating attack.
But on Tuesday Ms Boyd rode her beloved stock horse Chester almost the entire length of the Skipton Rail Trail, which spans 53 kilometres.
She would have made it all the way to Ballarat but 16-year-old Chester had become too tired.
Ms Boyd used the long ride to raise money for the MS Society, to whom she owes so much.
“I get medication that I know costs about $2000 a month and someone’s paying for that, so it’s nice to give something back,” she said.
It was following her third relapse that Ms Boyd’s first began to doubt her chances of ever riding again.
“It was probably in about 2010 that I started thinking, ‘this is never going to happen’. But then I borrowed a friend’s older horse one day and she said ‘just bloody get on’ and so I did,” Ms Boyd said.
“It was like getting on a bike, I just had to worry about what my legs were doing because I don’t have much feeling in them when I’m up there.”
Then, after going several years without an attack, Ms Boyd suffered a relapse in August this year and almost had to cancel the ride.
“I wasn’t supposed to have one (a relapse), the neurologist was quite upset and so was I,” she said.
“I nearly didn’t go on this, but then I thought ‘no I can still do it, I’m still up here riding’.”
To donate to the MS Society on behalf of Ms Boyd’s ride, search MS Awareness Horse Riders on Facebook and follow the directions.