Everybody Always Told Me . . .

Kaysha Egerer's Return to NATRC

Kaysha, Joe, and Lorelei

Everyone always told me that as I grew up, I would lose interest in things that were once very important to me - it may be true of some things, but riding horses and competing in NATRC have not been among them. Here's how I know.

When I was 19, I received the news that I would be a mom at 20. Being an aunt since I was 8, I had an idea of what parenting was like and I knew it wasn't an easy task. My personal goal was to be the best parent I could be without losing sight of myself.

My first question while I was pregnant was if I could still ride horses. As soon as I got the ok, I was back in the saddle doing easy work, mostly in the round pen or the arena and less on the trail. I was going to be a young mom. My future was much more in focus - but there was so much more in the big picture now. And I still wanted to keep my life going the way it was.

I reached out to other NATRC moms for advice and I got plenty, coming from all directions. Some informed me that I wouldn't be able to attend a ride until my daughter was 7 or 8. Others encouraged me to keep trying. A few voices doubted I would ever return. It was very interesting to me to see all angles of opinions of what was to come.

My daughter, Lorelei Rose Egerer, was born March 23, 2012. The very first NATRC ride she attended with me and my very supportive husband, Joe, was the Round Valley Ride on June 16-17, 2012 - when she was 84 days old. It was an honest 108 degrees in camp. We came to volunteer, but with the heat, I stayed in camp with Lorelei and Joe went out and volunteered without us. The people of NATRC never cease to amaze me with their kindness and generosity: several people offered to let Lorelei and me to hang out in their air conditioned motor homes until the heat died down.

All rides following that have been much easier to have a baby at, and the older she's gotten, the easier it's been. I would not be able to do any of what I do if it wasn't for Joe. He is so supportive of me and this sport I love. He is also the best, caring dad in the world for our daughter. We volunteer at as many rides as we can and whenever there is a horse available for me, I ride. Eventually, I also started schooling to become a medical assistant and a phlebotomist. In my free time I ride as much as possible. When it's a good day for it, I bring Lorelei along with me to ride. She has her own helmet and enjoys it very much.

We try to bring Lorelei everywhere that we go, including all the rides we go to, and she's grown into a pro at camping with horses now. Joe usually goes out to volunteer by driving a judge or P&R crew and she rides with them. If I'm not riding, I volunteer, but I try to ride at most rides nowadays. I hope that, as Lorelei grows, she will learn more and more from this sport and the people in it. I know that time flies and, before I know it, she'll be a junior in her first ride.

I am now working a full time job at Mendocino Community Health Center as a phlebotomist. I have my own mare at home now named Gypsy. My daughter is 2 years and 9 months old. With an amazing support system and great people in the sport, having a baby and starting a family wasn't the end of what I love. Becoming a parent has been the most wonderful thing to have ever happened to me, and I am so blessed to be raising my daughter in the wonderful world of NATRC.