When she lived in Alaska, Tabitha Darling used sled dogs to travel. Darling, who is blind, switched to a horse after moving to southwestern Idaho with her family.
But when Nampa, Idaho, officials began receiving complaints that Darling, 19, was riding dangerously through traffic, council members invoked a little-used city prohibition on horse riding.
"We don't want to see a tragic accident," Nampa spokesman Dale Dixon said. "She can't even get her feet in the stirrups, the horse is not saddled properly and not shod properly, and the horse has been spooked and run in circles in the middle of intersections, holding up traffic for extended periods of time."
Darling denied that she and her horse, Trixie, have careened through traffic, and said she's considering a lawsuit under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
"I started riding in the sidewalk until the police told me to ride in the street, and now they say I cannot ride at all," said Darling, who has been ticketed twice since buying Trixie three months ago.
Darling cannot use a guide dog because balance and hip problems make walking dangerous.
She has agreed to discuss a compromise, and recent publicity has sent offers of help pouring into City Hall.
Two people offered to donate golf carts, Dixon said, and others have offered their pastures to allow Darling to ride safely.