How do you go about getting classified, applying and so on? I have Chiari Malformation which cause stenosis and scotty dog fractures/ degenerative disc disease... My spine and brain love me. I am still looking to ride but looking for an outlet where I can be competitive. My Chiari causes me a lot of issues in itself but I will not give in my doctor said i could ride!
The USPEA (http://uspea.org/) is a good starting point. I would be interested in getting classified sometime, but believe the easiest place do do that at is at one of their competitions - none of which are near me. I know they had a series of clinics around the country a few years ago, I'm hoping they do that again soon.
It's kind of a moot point for me, since I don't have access to the kind of horse you need to be competitive, though! Somehow I don't think the Fjord, Morgan or 20-year-old QH would cut it with the grand prix trained warmbloods they're riding!
I was told by one of the classifiers that you can get accommadations (such as using two whips) at non-para shows by providing a doctor's statement that you need that accommadation in order to participate.
The woman I was communicating with was very supportive and encouraging. She had some basic questions for me, such as how my spinal cord injury was classified (complete or incomplete), and she explained that riders are graded by how much strength they had.
It is a very intersting process, and I wish I had followed tnrough when I had the time to travel to either Seattle or San Diego for the evaluation.
I contacted my USDF regional rep for information on who to contact for para information.
ETA: I found the e-mails I exchanged with the para-dressage evaluator and she mentioned that it was possible to have a phhsical therapist do a muscle evaluation/strength test and they could plug those numbers in and get an unofficial grade determined, which would be enough to get a para class in at local or regionl shows. The muscle strength for grading purposes might be strictly for spinal cord issues. Maybe other conditions have different grading criteria?
Last edited by IdahoRider; Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:36 AM.