A Tulsa woman living with Alzheimer's saddled up for the first time in more than 80 years.
Mia Birt is 88-years-old and originally from Scotland where her dad once had horses, but until this week, she hadn’t ridden a horse since she was a little girl.
“We're celebrating my mom's wish to ride a pony,” said Mia’s daughter Jaynie Herger. “She always wanted to ride a horse out on the beach and I thought now that she's 88, let's get her wish and maybe tone it down a little bit being in Oklahoma.”
Her daughter decided there’s no time like the present. She contacted Suzanne Stowe, who owns Pony Tails, a pony party and events business in Sand Springs. In no time, Mia was face-to-face with Freckles, a 10-year-old Welch pony-cross.
“Oh my gosh, I could take him home with me. Yes I could,” said Mia while petting the pony she was about to ride. “Freckles, I call you beautiful Freckles.”
“We've had him for about a year and he does birthday parties and dresses up like a unicorn and just loves life,’ Stowe said.
As her family helped her onto Freckles, her wish came true.
“I'm thinking, 'hallelujah' that it actually happened. And I never thought it would ever, ever, ever happen,” said Mia.
Mia's been living with Alzheimer's disease for about two years now, but she still remembers some precious moments from her past – like the last time she saddled up.
“I must have been a wee girl in Scotland,” she said. “My dad used to have horses and he would come with me and he would have me sit and he would have his arm around me.”
Decades later, at 88 years young, Mia's surrounded by her growing family.
Her granddaughter came in from Illinois for the big ride and she brought her newborn baby with her – Mia’s great-granddaughter. It was Mia’s first time to meet baby Evelyn, bringing four generations together for the first time.
“I wanted to be with family and just enjoy the day and have fun,” said Mia. “I loved it. I loved it.”
Mia's daughter says the day was so special, her mom remembered all the fun she had and was talking about it the next morning.