Although she rides horses a little differently than most, Alexis Mann has been riding ‘one-handed’ all her life. Missing her right hand from birth, Alexis’ limb difference is a result of amniotic band syndrome. Mike Glover covered her story for KWTV News Channel 9 while she competing in the 2023 National Reining Horse Association Derby at the OKC Fairgrounds.
Her first experience horseback riding was at 2 years old and she started the western discipline of reining at 13. “When I first started reining, my balance was really off but then I got better at it,” she said. Now 7 years into the sport, Alexis competes for the Division I equestrian team at the University of Tennessee at Martin and in reining competitions across the country. Riding one-handed has never been something that has slowed her down. “It was very fortunate that I just never knew any difference,” she added.
She even plays basketball and volleyball, two sports that also tend to involve two hands. Every day she is proving that there is often more than one way to do something. “I ride two handed a little differently, but I ride two handed, so even if you have to do it a little differently it’s ok,” she said reassuringly.