Tall in the saddle 366 days later

DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel—Hannah Atencio, 12, of Grand Junction, fulfilled a New Year’s resolution made a year ago to ride her horse, Maggie, every day during the coming 12 months. Hannah is shown in her backyard pasture on the Redlands giving her cat, Flip Flop, a ride on the final day of 2012.

With one more gallop Monday afternoon atop her black quarter horse, Hannah Atencio successfully completed her New Year’s resolution for 2012.

The Redlands 12-year-old vowed a year ago to ride a horse every single day in 2012. Her cousin told her he had never heard of anyone riding a horse on a daily basis, so she decided to give it a try.

“I just like to ride my horse,” she said of the reason for her resolution.

Riding all 366 days of the Leap Year meant getting outside and onto her horse even when she had homework, or school events, or the weather was less than inviting, or she felt ill.

“I was puking once but I went out there and did it,” she said. “It was a really short ride.”

The Redlands Middle School sixth-grader said she grew closer to her horse, Maggie, in 2012. Maggie follows her around in the backyard field where they ride and enjoy the daily jaunts. The only day last year Maggie wasn’t the horse Hannah took for a daily ride was on Dec. 23, when the family was in Pueblo visiting grandparents. Hannah’s grandmother found a different horse for her to ride that day.

Hannah’s mom, Koni Atencio, said Hannah’s resolution meant the family didn’t travel this year except for that Christmas visit. Aside from leaving her pining for a summer vacation, Koni Atencio said her daughter’s goal has inspired her to keep future resolutions.

“I was really proud of her,” she said. “It’s cool to have that kind of commitment at that age.”

Hannah’s resolution for this year also is horse-related.

“I want to learn to jump my horse,” she said.


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