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While I am a full-time litigator, our garden, pond, and my horses give me the most pleasure.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s edition of The Saturday Morning Post is dedicated Earth Day, albeit that was yesterday. And that calls into question why not make Earth Day every day?

For a response to this question, we asked one of America’s foremost psychiatrists Dr. H. Steven Moffic. Here is his response: “Actually, that development could be the best advice to come out of Earth Day this year. Experts are warning us that we have reached the emergency stage in needing to address our various environmental problems, including Russia’s nuclear threat. Every day we depend on the Earth for our well-being, and every day what we do influences the well-being of the Earth. We are all in this together.”

Few people get to say that they live on a farm. My family and I live on a horse farm. We don’t board other people’s horses; we don’t teach horseback riding. The horses are strictly for amusement, de-stressing, and enjoyment. Our farm is considered a hobby farm, which means we get absolutely zero tax write-offs and just maintain an expensive ranch. We also have peacocks, chickens, goats, pigs, dogs, and a 16-year-old girl.

While I am a full-time litigator, our garden, pond, and my horses give me the most pleasure. I had horses before I got married. When Scott and I were dating, I broke up with him after only a few weeks and dated someone else. Determined, Scott purchased a horse of his own and boarded it at the same place that I boarded my horse. Whenever I would drive out to ride my horse, he was there. I became especially enraged when he brought another girl to ride. We got back together, and the rest is history. But my marriage blossomed from a love of horses.

Over the years, my daughter grew from riding a buddy seat behind Scott or me to riding her own horse. We went often on weekend camping trips with our horse trailer, which comes with the comfort of a king bed, television, refrigerator, microwave, and air conditioning/heat. We have hilarious stories and heartfelt memories from those camping trips.

Someone always seems to accidentally fall in a lake or a river fully clothed, or a horse gets loose and makes a break for it, or that funny story about someone about someone getting too drunk the night before becomes legendary for the rest of times only to make us spit up laughing when it is reminisced. There have been slight tragedies like slit arms, getting thrown off your horse, and forgetting blankets and forks in the dead of winter. But the good memories outweigh the bad and the comic memories outweigh both.

There was an abandoned golf course in Angier, North Carolina, on which we used to ride our horses for hours. The golf course was littered with small ponds for golf traps, and the bottoms were all sandy. We used to ride our horses bareback into the ponds until the horses were swimming.

Unbeknownst to most people, horses are fantastic swimmers.

It was in the above-pictured pond that I tossed Scott’s iPhone, which was enclosed in a water-proof case, toward him, and the cell phone sank to the bottom of the lake. We searched for the cell phone for hours only to come up empty-handed and soaked. Scott never let me live that down, especially when it sunk, and I said, “It’s waterproof, right?” The water was simply to sandy and dark to recover it.

At Love Valley, North Carolina, a car-less town, in which everyone rides horses as a manner of travel, my best friend’s boyfriend asked her to marry him. She said, “Yes.” At Lumber River, NC, on separate occasions, we kayaked down the river, we country danced to live bands into the night, and attended the best friend’s wedding – all while horseback riding the other day of the weekend.

My daughter’s friends come to visit, and they are mesmerized by the peacocks and all the animals. Her friends often tell her they are jealous.  It’s hard to comprehend that the girl attending private school with you is an avid and distinguished horse-rider, that she wakes up to check whether we have any eggs, or that she can shoot bow and arrow and drive Polarises or Can-Ams. But, for us, it’s normal. It’s family-time. It’s healthy.

We gave our daughter a horse when she turned nine. But when she turned 16, she wanted a car. She will go to college and go onto whatever other education afterward, but she will never forget growing up on a horse farm and a way of life outside. Even, if, like me, her profession keeps her indoors.

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Knicole C. Emanuel Esq.

For more than 20 years, Knicole has maintained a health care litigation practice, concentrating on Medicare and Medicaid litigation, health care regulatory compliance, administrative law and regulatory law. Knicole has tried over 2,000 administrative cases in over 30 states and has appeared before multiple states’ medical boards. She has successfully obtained federal injunctions in numerous states, which allowed health care providers to remain in business despite the state or federal laws allegations of health care fraud, abhorrent billings, and data mining. Across the country, Knicole frequently lectures on health care law, the impact of the Affordable Care Act and regulatory compliance for providers, including physicians, home health and hospice, dentists, chiropractors, hospitals and durable medical equipment providers. Knicole is partner at Practus, LLP and a member of the RACmonitor editorial board and a popular panelist on Monitor Monday.

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