Meet Meribeth: Reinventing Herself with the Courage to Change the Things She Can

"Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

The Serenity Prayer has been Meribeth’s mantra since the day her life changed catastrophically.

In 2014, Meribeth was a successful career groom and barn manager. She was a familiar face among the hunter-jumper circuit’s elite riders and professionals. She had been hired by an internationally prominent horse owner, and was exactly where she dreamed of being. "I love it here!" she told her boss. "I never, ever want to leave this place. I want to be a part of it forever and ever!"

A groom’s life is physically demanding, and Meribeth’s body experienced her profession’s associated wear and tear. But she never expected that her “forever and ever” would come to such an abrupt halt when she went into the hospital for a routine back surgery. Things went horribly wrong during the operation. Miraculously, Meribeth survived, but she was left with severe and life-changing physical and neurological damage.

Meribeth’s long and difficult recovery path has included several subsequent surgeries and intensive therapy. She has experienced devastating financial and emotional effects from being unable to perform or look forward to returning to the work she feels she was meant to do.

As fate would have it, the very farm that Meribeth loved so much is managed by an Equestrian Aid board member. Meribeth was encouraged to apply for assistance. While the timeline for Meribeth’s recovery will take several more years, support from Equestrian Aid allows her to focus her energy on meeting her recovery goals.

The trajectory of Meribeth’s life has changed forever, but she is committed to rebuilding her life in a new direction. Equestrian Aid will cheer her on as she does.