Meg Wade knows more about horses than most people on the planet. She is a four times national Australian endurance horse racing champion. She has also bred endurance horses for over 30 years, selling them to buyers all over the world. But since a devastating accident that left her in a coma, she’s had to apply her determination to a whole different set of problems. One of those has been the problem of how to stay mobile, and she thinks she’s found an answer.
Over the last 10 years, portable mobility scooters have been a product on the rise. Small and highly portable, they can be folded for transportation in a car boot or even an aeroplane. Meg got her hands on a Luggie scooter back in 2016, and instantly it re-opened a whole slew of options she thought she’d lost forever. Unobtrusive enough to take in to a cafe, sturdy enough for expeditions to France, Slovakia, England, and more, the Luggie was a surprisingly effective solution for Meg, so much so she bought a second one!
Meg speaks particularly fondly of her travels to the UAE with her scooter, a country she’s been able to visit twice since the accident, all on her own steam.
‘The people over there have an understanding for people with mobility issues’, she said. It’s one of the main countries she exports her horses to.
She’s also tried her hand at more typical tourist activities with the aid of her scooter friend. Bus tours around Slovakia, museums and shopping in Austria. One day she wants to see the northern lights.
Doing things on her own steam has been a theme of Meg’s life. Never particularly drawn to team sports, she has tried her hand at cross-country skiing and endurance kayaking, before picking up endurance horse racing at age 28. The races can involve anywhere up to 160km of travel in a day, and sometimes last multiple days.
‘I liked being out there alone with the horse,’ she explains. ‘First you train that horse, build a bond and a trust. And then in the race, you’re the brains, metering out its energy. Because the horse doesn’t know how long the race is, only you do’.
There’s happiness in Meg’s voice when she talks about her past champion success. And a wistfulness. But there’s also a fierce pride in what has come after – her survival and determination, and her continued business success in breeding top horses. As of 2020, her farm to the north of Holbruck in NSW, has about 100 horses at any one time, and employs up to 5 people.
In her life Meg has solved a lot of problems. This time, Luggie technology took up a tiny bit of the slack.
More information on the Luggie at www.luggieaustralia.com.au
This story first appeared in Travel Without Limits magazine. You can subscribe here.