Next on Normans trot list was Spain. Norman was looking forward to sitting back and basking in the tradition, wealth and diversity of the Spanish plains, while trotting to the some of its UNESCO heritage sites.
While in Spain Norman had the pleasure to meet with a young girl called Estefania Felipe and her closest companion, Paladín her horse. This was no ordinary story and Norman was soon engrossed in the close bond that developed. Estefania has a spinal cord injury due to a car accident she suffered when she was one. She always loved horses and her dream was to one day own a horse.
Norman listens to Estefania's story
Estefania trawled the web to see if there was anyone else like her in the world. Was it possible for her to ride a horse with her injury? Finally, she met someone with the same injury who was horse riding on a daily basis. Estefania went to visit her new friend and a month later she had her own saddle and was horse riding for the first time in her life. Estefania told Norman “the first thirty minutes were hard, I couldn’t keep myself straight during the turns and they had to hold me; after that, I continued riding for two more hours”.
Here her real search started; she needed to find a horse of her own. “I needed a horse that I could trust, that wouldn’t get scared and that would be careful with me”. It was during her search for a new horse that she met Paladín. Estefania recalled the first time they met, “he placed his head on my lap and stayed there waiting for me to pet him. When he was let loose in the paddock I called him and he stayed beside me. Any where I would go, he would follow”. It was that very moment that Estefania knew that Paladín had to be hers.
“He has something special. He kept a constant pace; he was very relaxed, very delicate and careful when taking turns. We are now inseparable. He knows how to treat me carefully and for such a young horse he understands my needs”.
Norman was delighted to meet Paladín and Estefania and hear how one horse has changed the life of a young girl from Spain.
As Norman galloped away he thought of all the different types of horses and people he had met on his travels. From Olympians to Equestrian Hero’s, stallions to work horses, he can sleep soundly at night knowing that horses have a special place in everyone’s heart.