To look at 11 year old Tara Carlson you would never know that a child that looks so healthy could actually be so sick. Tara suffers from Chronic Kidney failure and will eventually need a transplant to save her young life. In addition, she also has to deal with hypertension and scoliosis, a medication regimen that is frightening and being fitted for a brace to help her with the pain in her back. But, through all of this, Tara is a sweet non-complaining child that is a joy to be with.

Her Mom, Debra Carlson, contacted DCMF and told us that she wanted to do something special for her child because she has been such a wonderful young lady throughout her entire ordeal. Even with all of her painful ailments Tara, since the age of 4, has loved to ride horses and has become quite an accomplished horsewoman at reining. She also rode western pleasure but that was not as exciting reining, which is a much faster sport involving spins and slide stops. As if that was not enough, she is also involved in freestyle where she rides to music – sort of like skating on horseback!

Tara’s family, Vince and Debra and sister Casey, were concerned about the fit of the saddle she used during her daily lessons so they thought a great surprise for Tara would be a custom fitted saddle. Well that is all we needed to hear and DCMF made it happen! Tara now enjoys her lessons with her own custom made saddle and is now riding atop her favorite horse “Toy” safe and comfortably. Last I heard Tara had entered her first reining contest and placed in the top five which includes adults as well!!! One day I know Tara will be a “Reining Champion” but for now she is certainly the “Reigning Champion” in our hearts!

Corky Bell
Executive Director, DCMF