WHEN Leeton's Debbie Walker was 15 she came off a horse with the accident so serious doctors told her family she likely wouldn't make it through.
However, much to their relief, she did and she went on to live a happy life and achieve plenty over the years, including starting a family of her own.
Two years ago, Mrs Walker decided it was time to get back into the saddle after she realised she had been holding onto everyone's fear of her riding again for too long.
She sought out Helen Byrne from Leeton's H&K Equestrian, started slowly by getting to know the horses once again.
Eventually she started taking riding lessons on Spanish Andalusian horse, the classically trained Zaphero, who she refers to as "George Clooney".
Now, Mrs Walker still receives lessons and looks like a professional atop Zaphero.
For Father's Day, she decided to share her renewed passion for horses with her father Warren Kirkup, who is typically used to flying aeroplanes and, even building one of his own.
Mr Kirkup hadn't been on a horse for many decades and was primarily used to riding them for work purposes on the farm.
When he was a youngster, he used to also drive a horse and cart into Leeton to attend school each day.
Riding one for leisure was a new experience, but one the 82-year-old he enjoyed.
For Mrs Walker, being back on a horse is more than just about the riding, it has given her back a childhood passion and love.
"I just love coming out here now," she said.
"I credit it all to Helen, she has really helped me and it's been as much an emotional journey as well as getting back into riding.
"I got dad the lesson for Father's Day because I thought he would enjoy it too.
"He looks like he's having fun up there. It was really hard for my family when I had my accident.
"I was anointed and everything. We weren't allowed on horses after that."
Mr Kirkup still flies planes to this day and said while the feeling of soaring through the skies was always something he would do regularly, getting up onto a horse again was an experience he would remember.
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