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Back in the Saddle

NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Laura Harris

January 8, 2020

Back in the Saddle
Local senior receives gift, relives passion

One local woman isn’t letting age or disability stop her from pursuing her passion. Diana Kazmier, 85, a Sachse resident, hadn’t been on a horse in more than 40 years. But on Saturday, Dec. 7, a trip to Kaufman changed that.

As the saying goes, do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. Diana Kazmier, a resident of Mustang Creek Estates, dedicated her entire life to doing what she loves the most – training dogs and horses. It all started with a pet shop that Kazmier opened, but it soon turned into a lifelong passion. She trained, bred and prepared both dogs and horses for shows.

About seven years ago, Kazmier lost one of her legs due to peripheral artery disease. In addition, she was diagnosed with dementia. Although she may not remember everything from her life, she can talk about horses and dogs for hours. After her daughter, Kristie Willis, saw the emotional reaction her mother had after touching a horse on a farm they visited recently, she knew she had to get her mom back on a horse. “When Kristie told us about her mother’s dream, we wanted to do everything in our power to help her make it happen,” said LaNita Wilson, executive director at Mustang Creek Estates of Sachse. “We do our best to provide our residents with unique experiences, and we know this is something Diana has been wanting to do and it will bring her so much joy. We look forward to taking her to the ranch and watching her enjoy her time with the horses.”

In December, Kazmier’s dream to get back in the saddle came true. Willis and Mustang Creek Estates took Kazmier to Jake E’s Riding Round Up in Kaufman, where she got the opportunity to ride, brush and pet horses. “My mom has always been an independent woman with a business mindset. She always worked for herself,” said Willis. “Growing up, we traveled around the country to shows and rodeos. This was our life. It wasn’t easy for my mom to adjust to living without the animals around anymore. I was so excited to take her to the ranch and allow her to spend some time doing what she loves the most.”

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