Horses and Social Security Disability!
Have you worked all your life with horses. What would you do if you became disabled?
How much time has your doctor, friends and family told you “get rid of the horses” I have heard this many times in the past 8 years. Do not listen to them if the horses are your life.
The battle I had was going from breaking, training and showing horses to hardly being able to ride. I had to have major back surgery with a lot of metal in my back. The recovery was awful. I also suffered a mental impairment from years of training horses and hitting my head.
The decision of getting rid of the horses was not an option for me. My response everytime someone said this was “Without my horses I do not need to get out of bed or go outside ever again.” They got the point and agreed that having them was good therapy.
The challenge ahead, however, is if you file for social security disability. I was denied both times by a judge who made his decision when I stepped in his court room.
I was honest with the judge and told him that I had only rode 4 times that year and it was painful. What happened next is where I got screwed.
The denial I got from the Judge: My doctors were incompetent, my family are all liars, and that I lied about riding only 4 times. He made up a story all by himself of this great life I had on my ranch showing and riding. To be honest, I wish it was true. (I have a little 20 acre farm.)
I don’t care what anyone says, if you raise horses like I do and they are your life’s ambition and the bond is strong, explain it to your doctor and family.
I still can no longer train or show. I trail ride now on my broke to death gelding and love it. Talk about therapy, it’s the best.
If a judge does this to you here is what I should have done but it was to late: You will get denied, find an attorney that only handles ssdisability at no cost to you until you win, file an appeal and go to trial, try to explain everything about how you interacted with your horses before you became disabled and the limitations you now face, file an appeal on the judge’s decision, if denied take the judge to court and file a civil suit on him. I should have.
About the author: Lisa Casebeer February 24, 2016
I have been in the equestrian industry for 25 years. I have been involved in combined training, hunter jumper and quarter horse halter. I run a small breeding farm in Montrose, CO and have trained horses for others and myself. For more information you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org