A dieter who was determined to lose enough weight to get back in the saddle kept a picture of her on a horse on her fridge as motivation.
Liverpool-based Karen Wright grew up riding but gradually gaining weight over the years she felt she could not return to her hobby.
“I took my daughter riding and always wanted to get back in the saddle,” she told H&H.
“It killed me when I couldn’t. It was heartbreaking watching her and being around the horses but not being able to ride.
“I knew I had to get the weight off and riding was my inspiration.”
Karen joined Slimming World weighing 23 stone and wanted to get down to at least 15 stone before attempting to ride again.
“I had tried fasting and things like liquid diets — they wouldn’t last,” she said.
“This one was different because you could still eat and lose weight. It was more of a lifestyle change.
“The first three stone just flew off me and then I just carried on.
“I kept a picture of me sitting on a horse on my fridge to remind me of my goal.”
Eventually Karen got down to around 13 stone and was able to realise her dream of riding again.
While on holiday in Spain last August she went on a ride with her two daughters.
“It all came back straight away,” said Karen.
“My daughter couldn’t believe it when I was leading the group — she was like ‘what are you doing, Mum?’
“The man who took us out was saying, ‘leave her!’
“I hadn’t told her how much riding I had done when I was younger.
- ‘I’m avoiding everything by staying in the company of my animal family’: meet horse whisperer Santi Serra
- Hovis’ Friday diary: mother looked like someone had stolen her credit cards and gone on a bender at the Apple shop
- It’s a girl! Claire Lomas gives birth to second child
“There were tears in my eyes all the way round.
“My horse, Zeus, was absolutely amazing. It was like he knew.
“He snuggled his head into the side of me when I got off.”
Karen underwent a full hysterectomy in January but is now on the road to recovery and plans to start riding lessons at her local stables in the near future.
“I hope my story can help other people be inspired to get back in the saddle,” she added.