Jaida Dreyer has just released her debut album, I Am Jaida Dreyer, but has plenty of experience under her belt already. The singer, who just returned from Las Vegas, where she performed for the ACM Experience as part of ACM Awards weekend, has opened for several of country music's biggest stars, including Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan. And while she may seem like one of the most fortunate newcomers in country music, the singer endured plenty of hardship and pain -- literally and figuratively -- on her unlikely road to a country-music career.

"I was forced to grow up very quickly," Jaida reveals to The Boot. "It was just my Mom and me. We left my Dad when I was 12. Tennessee is the seventh state I've lived in. I was born in Thunder Bay, Ont., raised in Iowa, went from Iowa to Florida to Georgia, Georgia to California, California to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Texas, Texas back to Georgia, and then I moved to Nashville."

The blond beauty began riding horses professionally as a little girl, and continued down that path until a riding injury resulted in three degenerative discs in her lower back. Unable to continue the sport's rigorous demands, Jaida was forced to retire at the young age of 17.

"That's what I was doing until I got hurt," she explains. "The only other thing I did was, I wrote songs. I didn't know if they were any good, or if anybody wanted to hear them. It was the only thing I really knew how to do. So I wasn't scared of moving, obviously. When I moved to Nashville, I was just going to get a job in an office somewhere, and see if people would write songs with me."

Jaida acknowledges spending so much time as an equestrian helped shape her musical path. "It had a lot to do with who I am now and the songs that I write," she notes. "It gave me a lot to write about. I saw a lot of dysfunctional people. It's a blessing and a blunder. But I'm thankful for it. When I moved to Nashville, I didn't realize that other 17-year-old girls didn't have all these things to write about. I guess everything happens for a reason."

The songstress caught the attention of famed producer, Byron Gallimore, who quickly took her under his wing. But while it was five years before he agreed to produce an album for her, she says the finished product was definitely worth the wait.

"You think about the people that Byron's worked with, Tim [McGraw] and Faith [Hill], Sugarland and Martina [McBride]," she notes. "I feel really stupid saying my name with them sometimes. Byron, himself, is not an intimidating person, and that's why I was so drawn to him. He's an old farmer from the backwoods of Tennessee, and I come from a really rural background. He's a dream to work with. It was intimidating at first, but then not so much."

I Am Jaida Dreyer is available now.

Watch Jaida Dreyer Perform 'If That Ain't Love'