Amateurs Like Us: A Special Horse Gave Stacey DiNuzzo Her Strength Back


Standing in her kitchen in Seattle with her new baby girl Cora in her arms, Stacey DiNuzzo felt overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. Even though she had returned to work at T-Mobile leading crisis communications after her maternity leave, DiNuzzo continued to struggle with the severe effects of postpartum depression. She’d experienced postpartum depression with her eldest daughter Zoe DiNuzzo, but it came back stronger and longer with Cora.

“A lot of people think postpartum depression is right after the baby, but she was like 6 or 8 months old at the time,” said Stacey. “I just felt helpless and completely overwhelmed. It’s so hard to describe. It’s just like an enormous anvil is sitting on your shoulders, and you’re being pulled in a thousand different directions because you’re needed by your kids, your husband [Joe], and I still had work stuff going on. And I just stood there—standing there in my kitchen holding this beautiful baby that I was so happy to have [because] I wasn’t sure I was going to have another child. I was so happy to have her, but at the same time I was so sad. So incredibly sad.”

Stacey was considering medication. But the next day after her moment in the kitchen, she got an all-important phone call. It was her trainer saying that a special horse, Touch Wood, or “Teddy,” was available for sale.

Stacey first laid eyes on Teddy before she resumed riding. Zoe had taken an interest in horses, and a young girl at the barn owned him. But Stacey felt an immediate connection to Teddy.