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Riders with disabilities

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  • Riders with disabilities

    I have been diagnosed with fibromyalsia (if one can call it a diagnosis as it's a "rule out" disorder). I am learning to ride and if I can, would like to compete. If I have a significant problem with my riding to keep me from competing AA, how do I look into the riders with disabilites program? Peg
    Fleur de Lis Hanoverians

  • #2
    You can apply to your local branch of riding for the disabled or paralympic riding program and will be graded on your disability. You will need diagnostic letters from your physician and others. One cannot say simply from a diagnosis.

    It may interest you to know that many of the best paralympic athletes do not have visible disabilities and even those that do, generally compete on an equal basis with the able bodied peers in their home countries. Get help from the appropriate professionals like a physio, dietician, physician, etc, as well as a coach who is familiar with the disabled riding programs.

    Good luck and have fun. Try this link for the various associations world wide.

    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


    • #3
      Many people with very severe disabilities ride in disabled rider events and it's pretty clear that their disability limits them to those events and tests that are restricted to a walk and trot or even a walk.

      But for quite a few people the best choice isn't always that clear or simple to make. Some will choose competitions for disabled riders and some will just show in the regular classes. The USEF allows riders with disabilities to apply for accomodations for their disability and ride in regular competitions as well. It's up to the individual to decide which course is the best for him or herself - disabled classes, regular classes, or regular classes with a permitted accomodation.

      You can be very sure that no matter which option is best for you, you will be very welcome and very encouraged.


      • #4
        did you mean fibromyalgia? pain in the connective tissues of your body?
        My suggestion (since my mother has it too) is to learn more about your disorder, dietary changes, alternative therapies, special exercises. You may find that once you learn how to function with fibro, that it isnt as great of a setback as your origionally expected
        How many trigger points did you test positive for?
        Also, Radiant Research is conducting a study on a new medication for fibro starting i think in February, that may be worth looking into.
        Last edited by Petstorejunkie; Dec. 27, 2007, 09:03 PM. Reason: correcting my dingy spelling correction (doing!)
        chaque pas est fait ensemble


        • #5
          I think she meant fibromyalgia if you want to be precise.
          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


          • #6
            here's a super article


            There may not be any specfic accomodations you could apply for for regular classes, but you might want to check into how your medications should be declared or noted for those competitions if that's the route you decide to take.

            i used to know a dressage trainer who told me she was diagnosed with it and continued to show in regular competition and train, also, some years ago i did hear of a lady who was doing very well and competing just taking some pain medication and antidepressant, she had said the antidepressant actually addressed the disease itself, not any accompanying depression, but i don't know if it's clear exactly how that works, i didn't find anything to clarify that on pubmed. since then, there is now a medication on the market for fibro and things are definitely looking better all the time.

            i do recall one thing the first gal told me - be very, very cautious about alternative treatments. most are not proven or regulated or reviewed in any way.

            it seems like a very tough disease to get diagnosed, based on the article above. wish you all the best, in the saddle and during those 'eh' times when you're not riding


            • #7
              are there tests posted anywhere for disabled rider classes? how do you find out when they are offered in your area?


              • #8
                I also would like to hear thoughts from riders with dispensation certificates and if it is helpful to have one?

                After a bad fall from the full flight of concrete stairs, I've been diagnosed with a restricted permanent disability in my right hand 3 years ago. I have to follow a daily doctor prescribed schedule not to overload my hand from overworking: such as not doing the same activity for more than 45 minutes, then take a 15 minutes rest with my right hand, not lifting anything more than 10 pound with both hands and 5 pounds with my right hand, wrapping my right hand at night, doing 15 minutes of water exercisers at the morning, and also taking 800ml of Motrin 3 times per day to keep pain down. Even not visible, this disability was life and career altering for me.

                I looked in to the disabled rider classes - it seems that with certification I can get special reins to be able to hold them easier, like with the loops on the reins. Also compete with other disables riders. However, after I looked in to it, it seems that there are very few disabled classes around and most disabled riders do compete mixed in regular classes. They do get judged just the same and they do ride the same tests. So it's only the equipment that is different "in the LOCAL dressage scene". I'll have to travel far for the only disabled riders shows. Since I have no ambitions to travel far to compete in big shows - I'm wondering if dispensation certificate will be useful for me.


                • #9
                  This is the USEF General Rules about disability:

                  GR1310 Dispensations.
                  1. Dispensation Certificate. An individual with a diagnosed permanent physical disability
                  will apply for a dispensation certificate from the Adaptive Sports Committee . Upon the
                  committee’s approval, a dispensation certificate will be issued by the Federation. The
                  Dispensation Certificate will list all compensatory aids and adaptive equipment allowed the
                  individual while competing. Other compensatory aids or special equipment not specifically
                  listed on the certificate are not allowed. A copy of this certificate must be included with the
                  individual's entry. The competition manager will include a copy attached to all applicable
                  scoring sheets for the judge’s reference. For instructions on how to apply for the Certificate
                  please refer to GR1312. Also see GR1315 for definitions of terms used in this section.
                  2. Presidential Dispensation. In circumstances that fall outside of the dispensation
                  program, a Presidential Modification may be considered. Please refer to GR150 and Bylaw

                  GR1311 Para Equestrian Eligibility/Classification.
                  In order for an individual to compete in USEF licensed Para Equestrian Competitons,
                  he/she must have a diagnosed, permanent physical disability as determined by the USEF
                  Para Equestrian Classification System. The individual will be Para Equestrian eligible (PE
                  eligible), possess a USEF classification card for up to National level competition (USEF
                  PE), or possess and FEI PE Card for Qualifying and International level competition. See
                  GR140 for the definition of Para Equestrian and GR824 for additional definitions).

                  GR1312 Applying for a Dispensation Certificate.
                  1. Applications for a dispensation Certificate are obtained from the Federation (via the
                  USEF website or the USEF office) and are reviewed on a continuing basis throughout the
                  year. Applications are submitted with supporting medical evidence to the Adaptive Sports
                  Committee. The Adaptive Sports Committee may request additional supporting evidence
                  from the individual regarding their medical status or regarding the aid/equipment they are
                  requesting dispensation for. The Adaptive Sports Committee will render an opinion
                  (approval of all or some of the aids requested or denial of the dispensation) and the
                  individual will be notified by the USEF in a timely manner.
                  a. The Dispensation Certificate will be issued annually upon re-application, and
                  remains in effect until the end of the competition year or until he/she receives a change
                  in status from the Federation, whichever is earlier. Any individual who wishes to make
                  changes to his/her certificate must notify the Federation in writing. Certification is
                  revocable at any time for cause.
                  b. Applications should be submitted in order to allow 30 days for the committee to
                  render a decision regarding the dispensation status.
                  c. There is no fee for a Dispensation Certificate.
                  d. The individual must be a member in good standing with the USEF.

                  GR1313 Applying for Para Equestrian (PE) Classification.
                  1. The individual will request classification from the USEF. Applications may be found on
                  the USEF website or at the USEF office. Once the USEF office receives the application,
                  they will contact the USEF classification coordinator.
                  GR200 © USEF 2007-2008
                  a. Until such time that the classification is scheduled, the individual will be considered
                  Para Equestrian Eligible (PE Eligible) as determined by the USEF classification
                  b. PE Eligible individuals may participate in competition using the self-classification
                  system for local and regional competitions.
                  2. The USEF classification coordinator will assist in scheduling a classification with one of
                  the USEF Classifiers. There is no fee for the classification, though if the individual requests
                  a classification to be scheduled at their convenience, all expenses for the classifier will be
                  paid for by the individual.
                  3. The classification will result in a Profile and a Grade based on the FEI Profile system
                  (see GR824). The Profile will remain with the individual for as long as their physical
                  disability remains constant with no need for re-classification. If the individual has a
                  fluctuating medical condition or if his/her function changes, the profile may change with
                  future re-classifications. The Grade will be based on the specific discipline. (see definitions,
                  4. Upon classification, the USEF will issue a USEF Classification Card. This card will
                  outline the individual’s profile and grade, indicate any compensating aids/adaptive
                  equipment that may be used in USEF PE competition and the expiration date of the
                  5. For USEF licensed PE competitions, the individual will send in a copy of their Card with
                  their competition entry. The individual will also be responsible for carrying their card
                  throughout the show for review by the TD or Steward as necessary.
                  6. When change in status occurs (i.e. change of compensating aids/adaptive equipment),
                  written request for a change will be submitted to the USEF office.
                  7. The USEF Classifier will determine the renewal period for classification. For those with
                  disabilities with no expected change in functional status, the classification will have no
                  expiration. For those with fluctuating conditions or conditions expected to change, either by
                  deterioration or improvement there will be indicated on the card an expiration and expected
                  time for re-classification. It is the individual’s responsibility to apply for re-classification
                  through the USEF at least 45 days and at most 90 days prior to the expiration date. It is
                  also the individual’s responsibility to apply for re-classification if a major change in status
                  (i.e. resulting from a surgery or therapy which causes significant functional improvement)
                  8. Upon receipt of an FEI PE Card for Qualifying and International competition, the FEI
                  card will take the place of a USEF PE Classification Card and may be used for USEF
                  licensed PE competitions.
                  9. Classification status can be challenged by a USEF PE competition official, competitor
                  or trainer with the potential for re-classification occurring at that event.

                  GR1314 Hearings/Protests.
                  1. Any individual whose application for a Dispensation Certificate or a Para Equestrian
                  Classification has been denied may request a hearing by the Hearing Committee or by such
                  individual or committee as it may designate to review said decision. The request must be in
                  writing and mailed to the Hearing Committee within ten (10) days from receipt of the
                  decision sought to be reviewed.
                  a. The hearing shall be after ten (10) days notice to all parties concerned. The notice
                  shall contain a brief statement of the facts reporting the position of the Federation and
                  shall specify the time and place at which the hearing is to be held. The person
                  requesting said hearing may attend and bring witnesses, sworn statements or other
                  evidence on his or her behalf. Upon the written request of a representative of the
                  Federation or of the person requesting the hearing, there shall be furnished before said
                  hearing any evidence to be introduced, the names of witnesses and the substance of
                  their testimony.
                  b. The decision of the Hearing Committee or the person or committee designated to
                  preside at said hearing shall be final.
                  c. Protests or charges brought in connection with an individual’s Dispensation
                  Certificate status or Para Equestrian Classification status shall be handled in
                  accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6.
                  © USEF 2007-2008 GR201

                  GR1315 Definition of Terms.
                  1. Diagnosed permanent physical disability - An individual with a medical condition
                  resulting in functional limitations affecting their ability to participate in equestrian sport and
                  diagnosed by a medical doctor. The condition is not reasonably expected to improve and
                  may, in fact, be one that worsens over time. The condition should be easily objectively
                  measurable in scope, either by physical examination by a medical professional or with
                  medical testing. An example may include a limb amputation, paralysis, weakness due to a
                  neuromuscular condition or hearing or vision loss.
                  2. Compensating aid and/or adaptive equipment - Allowance for an alteration in
                  performance, an alteration of dress or alternate piece of equipment which allows the
                  individual with a disability to perform the requirements of the competition. The aid or
                  equipment assists in equalizing the functional ability of the individual and should not give
                  the individual an undue advantage. The aid/equipment must be deemed safe for the
                  competitor and the horse and is subject to review by the TD and/or judge at each event.
                  a. Saluting with the nod of the head only when taking a hand off of the reins would be
                  b. Use of paddock boots and smooth leather half chaps rather than tall boots if wearing
                  tall boots is unsafe for a rider with leg dysfunction.
                  c. Allowance to not wear gloves for the individual with abnormal sensation in the
                  d. Use of 1 or 2 whips to cue the horse for an individual with impaired use of his/her
                  e. Use of a golf cart to survey a course prior to driving for the individual who is unable
                  to walk.
                  f. Use of quick release equipment for carriage driving.
                  For additional examples, please see USEF booklet entitled, Guidelines for USEF
                  Dispensation and USEF Classification Systems found on the USEF website.
                  3. Dispensation
                  a. Dispensation Program - The Federation encourages competition amongst all
                  individuals, including those with a diagnosed permanent physical disability. For those
                  individuals wishing to compete in Federation licensed dressage or driving competitions
                  and require compensating aids and/or adaptive equipment to do so, a dispensation
                  may be granted. The purpose of the dispensation is to aid those with limited function by
                  allowing the use of aids/equipment which will result in more equal function. These
                  aids/equipment should not give the individual with a disability an advantage over his/her
                  b. Adaptive Sports Committee: An interdisciplinary group representing the equestrian
                  disciplines, the medical field, competitors, and the USEF who is charged with the
                  review and/or approval of dispensation applications. (Bylaw 503.3)
                  4. Para Equestrian (PE)
                  a. USEF Para Equestrian (PE) Classification System - The USEF has chosen to adopt
                  the FEI Profile System for classification for individuals with disabilities. This system
                  provides a means to assess an individual’s functional abilities and impairments to
                  determine which Grade they will compete in amongst individuals with similar levels of
                  function. There is a minimal level of impairment required in order to qualify for the FEI
                  Profile System. In the system, an individual with a permanent measurable physical
                  disability is assessed by a USEF or FEI approved classifier. As a result of the
                  assessment, the classifier will determine eligibility and then assign the individual a
                  Profile. The Profiles are grouped into Grades based on the discipline in which the
                  individual will be competing. For example, an individual who has minor impairment of
                  the Left arm and leg after a stroke would likely be given a Profile 15. If they compete in
                  dressage, they would compete in Grade III. If they choose to compete in Carriage
                  Driving, they would compete as a Grade II.
                  b. FEI Profile System - Amongst individuals with disabilities, there are many different
                  types of impairments. To provide meaningful competition for these individuals it is
                  necessary that those of similar levels of impairment compete together. The “Profile
                  System” fulfils this criterion. It is a System of tests administered by trained and certified
                  Physical Therapists or Physicians. It is based on the classification systems used in
                  GR202 © USEF 2007-2008
                  other sports for individuals with disabilities and has been tested for reliability and
                  validity in its application in equestrian sport.
                  5. Profile - an individual is given one of 42 profiles based on their level of function as
                  assessed by a USEF or FEI Classifier. The Profiles are versatile but tight, easy to use and
                  understand. The locomotor Profiles are not disability (diagnosis) specific, but are based on
                  the ability of the functioning part(s) of the body. The Profile is considered permanent except
                  in the case of a diagnosis that has a reasonable expectation of change, such as with
                  progressive Multiple Sclerosis.
                  6. Grade - the grouping of profiles within a discipline. In Dressage, there are 5 grades (Ia,
                  Ib, II, III, and IV). In Carriage Driving there are 2 Grades (I and II). A Grade is made up of
                  several profiles, grouping Para Equestrians of similar level of function. The lower number
                  Grades (i.e. Grade I) is made up of Para Equestrians with a more significant level of
                  impairment, whereas the higher number Grades (i.e. IV) identify those Para Equestrians
                  with a lesser impairment. The Grade determines which tests a rider rides and against
                  whom the Para Equestrian will be competing. In National and International competition,
                  medals/placement is awarded in each Grade.
                  7. Para Equestrian (PE) Eligible - an individual with a permanent measurable physical
                  disability who has entered into the classification process but has not yet been classified by a
                  USEF or FEI Classifier. The USEF Classification Coordinator will determine PE Eligible
                  status. This individual may compete in Para Equestrian classes at the local or regional
                  level, but may not medal.
                  8. USEF Para Equestrian (USEF PE) - a classified Para Equestrian carrying a USEF
                  Classification card indicating their Profile, Grade, and compensating aids/adaptive
                  equipment. These individuals may compete up to the National level of USEF licensed PE
                  9. FEI Para Equestrian (FEI PE) - a Para Equestrian carrying an FEI Classification Card
                  indicating their Profile, Grade and compensating aids/adaptive equipment. This individual
                  may compete Nationally and in Qualifying trials. To achieve this classification, the individual
                  will need a classification by two FEI Classifiers, at least one from outside of their home
                  country. There is a fee to the FEI for application and renewal for the FEI PE Classification
                  Card. Individuals must request renewals through the National Federation.
                  10. USEF Classifier - a Physical Therapist or Physician who has been trained and certified
                  by the USEF to classify individuals using the FEI Profile System. A USEF Classifier may
                  classify Para Equestrians up through a National level competition.
                  11. FEI Classifier - a Physical Therapist or Physician who has been trained and certified by
                  the FEI to classify Para Equestrians using the FEI Profile System. An FEI classifier may
                  classify Para Equestrians through to the International level (i.e. Paralympics and World
                  Games). FEI Classifiers are designated as 'I' (International) or 'O' (Paralympic and World
                  12. USEF Classification Coordinator - the lead USEF Classifier responsible for assisting
                  individuals through the classification process and establishing PE Eligible status.
                  13. Para Equestrian (PE) Self-classification - When it is difficult due to logistics to complete
                  a classification by a USEF or FEI Classifier, an individual may choose to classify
                  themselves based on the USEF Classification System. Using the stick figures and
                  definitions for trainers, a profile will be determined. (see Guidelines for USEF Dispensation
                  and USEF Classification Systems) This will in turn determine a Grade depending on the
                  individual’s particular discipline. The self-classification is a means to begin competition
                  based on the individual’s self evaluation of their level of function. This will be allowed for
                  local or regional USEF licensed competition only. At this status, an individual may compete
                  at a Grade lower than their functional status determines. Once National competition is
                  attempted, an official classification must be completed.
                  14. Classification Card - The card issued to a Para Equestrian indicating the Para
                  Equestrian’s Profile, Grade, Compensating Aids/Adaptive Equipment and expiration of the
                  classification. USEF issues the USEF Classification Card and the FEI issues the FEI PE
                  Classification Card.

                  GR1315 Dressage Modifications.
                  In the Dressage Division, competitors will not be allowed to compete with modifications
                  unless a copy of their Federation Presidential Modification letter is provided to the
                  competition secretary by the beginning of the competition.


                  • #10
                    This is from USEF bylaws:
                    Section 3. Adaptive Sports Committee. There shall be appointed by the
                    President an Adaptive Sports Committee to consist of five (5) or more Senior Active
                    Members of the Federation. At least one member of the Committee must have competed
                    as a Para Equestrian rider/driver within the ten (10) year period preceding his or her
                    appointment. The President shall appoint one of the members to act as Chairman of the
                    Committee. The Committee shall hold at least two meetings each year and shall submit to
                    the Board of Directors recommendations on the inclusion of athletes with a disability in
                    equestrian sport and on ways to encourage competitions for equestrian athletes with a
                    disability. The greater of three or one-third of the members shall constitute a quorum.


                    • #11
                      Seat cushion?

                      Not to hijack but I have a somewhat similar question- I have 3 herniated discs in my lower back and because of their location the surgery is very risky and I have opted to avoid it for now. I cannot sit the trot- the impact is just too much. I know that sounds like an excuse but I can actually ride a sitting trot (my horse isn't just too bouncy for me), but the next day I end up on bed rest with numbness in one or both legs. So here's my question- could I get a dispensation certificate to ride with a seat cushion? Has anyone had experience with these types of things?


                      • #12
                        It probably depends where you are as well - in BC there's a fairly active paralympic scene, some riders (including a local FEI rider with limited mobility in an ankle was smashed a number of years ago) competing in both, and some only in the paralympic tests.

                        There's one girl I see at every show who always blows me away - she rides far better than she walks, and has a wonderful pony.
                        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                        • #13
                          This is from the USEF Dresage Rules:
                          5. DR118 Tests for Dressage Competitions.
                          IPEC or other tests for Para Equestrians may be ridden only in Test of Choice classes
                          that are limited to Para Equestrians. Young Horse tests may be ridden only in Test of Choice
                          classes that are limited to Young Horses.

                          DR119 Participation in Dressage Competitions.
                          11. Individuals with disabilities that require use of compensatory aids or adaptive
                          equipment and holding Federation Dispensation Certificates are eligible to participate. A
                          copy of a rider’s Dispensation Certificate which lists all of his or her allowed compensating
                          aids and adaptive equipment must be included with the rider’s entry, with a copy then
                          attached to each of their Dressage sheets for the Judge’s reference.

                          DR120 Dress
                          8. Offset spurs without rowels are permitted for riders having an
                          appropriate Dispensation Certificate.
                          10. Individuals holding Federation Dispensation Certificates may be allowed exceptions,
                          i.e.; gloves not required if unable to wear them, half-chaps and black or brown riding shoes
                          with heels. If dispensation for modified shoes or boots is given, safety stirrups are required.
                          Riders may also be given dispensation for modified gloves, hand weights and arm belts. All
                          exceptions to required dress must be listed on the rider’s Dispensation Certificate.

                          DR121 Saddlery and Equipment.
                          1. An English type saddle with stirrups is compulsory for Federation and USDF tests. An
                          English type saddle may be constructed with or without a tree but cannot have a horn,
                          swell, gallerie, or open gullet. Australian, Baroque, Endurance, McClellan, Spanish, Stock,
                          or Western saddles are not permitted nor are modified versions of these saddles (exception:
                          competitors with a current approved Federation Dispensation Certificate).
                          11. Individuals holding Federation Dispensation Certificates may use special saddlery and
                          equipment as specifically listed on their Certificate. The following equipment is permitted if
                          listed on the certificate:
                          a. Any well fitted saddle that is suited to the needs of the rider.
                          b. Devonshire, western, or oxbow stirrups, tethers from stirrups to girth; seat covers;
                          velcro and rubber bands (provided the equipment allows the rider to fall from the
                          horse). Break-away safety stirrups are required if the rider’s feet are secured into the
                          stirrups and shoes with distinguishable heels must be worn.
                          c. Except for sidesaddle, either two stirrups or no stirrups must be used, unless rider
                          has one leg and no prosthesis on the other leg.
                          d. Adapted or bridged reins. If the rein is not to be used in a conventional manner, it
                          must be in as straight a line as possible from the normal hand position (as described in
                          DR117) to the horse’s mouth.
                          e. One or two whips, not to exceed 4’ in length.

                          DR122 Execution and Judging of Tests.
                          4. Individuals holding Federation Dispensation Certificates are allowed the following
                          exceptions, provided these exceptions are clearly listed on the Certificate:
                          a. Visually impaired and blind riders may use callers as “living letters.” These callers
                          (a maximum of 9) may be stationed around the exterior of the arena and will call out
                          letters at the appropriate time. No more than one caller may be stationed within the
                          arena. Callers may not give any other direction to the rider other than identifying the
                          letters, center line and quarter lines of the dressage arena. Callers must position
                          themselves as to not obscure the judge’s line of vision. Riders may enter the arena
                          prior to the start of their test and make one pass of the arena, once in each direction in
                          order to familiarize themselves with the callers and the arena. After completion of this
                          familiarization, the rider may leave the arena and await the judge’s signal to re-enter
                          and begin his or her test OR may halt and stand quietly just within the arena at A to be
                          given the signal to begin their test from inside the arena. Blind and visually impaired
                          riders are required to wear a red arm band at all times while mounted and in areas
                          where other riders are present. They may remove this armband during execution of
                          their dressage test.
                          b. Riders may salute with a nod of the head only. Physical contact must remain on the
                          reins at all times.
                          c. As necessitated by the rider’s individual physical limitations, trot work may be
                          performed either entirely sitting or posting.
                          d. Riders with intellectual impairment or head injury may have a reader to call their
                          tests, including freestyles. If the freestyle is being read, it is required that the caller use
                          radio communication.
                          e. Riders with hearing impairment may have a reader using sign language or use radio
                          f. If radio communication is used, a copy of the written choreography must be given to
                          the Technical Delegate or their designee who will monitor the reader and report to the
                          judge if unauthorized assistance is given to the rider.

                          DR117 The Position and Aids of the Rider.
                          3. Riding with both hands is obligatory at all national and International Dressage Events.
                          However, riding with one hand is permitted in the Freestyle Tests and when leaving the
                          arena. Individuals holding a Federation Dispensation Certificate may use bridged or special
                          adaptive reins for use with one or no hand(s), if their physical limitations require such and
                          the equipment is listed on the Dispensation Certificate.


                          • #14
                            There is a gal here locally who has qualified for the ParaOlympics, and she has done it at regular USEF/USDF shows in our area. She rides a special paraOlympic test to qualify - I think she just contacted show organizers and asked if she could use this test. It was no problem as far as I know - the judge just was provided with a copy of the special score sheet for her test, she rode the test and it was scored and she was in a class of one. I think she also competes in regular classes. She is a good rider and has a good partnership with her horse.
                            Donerail Farm


                            • #15
                              Here's a couple links to help you get started:


                              The "classification" section is a good place to start - http://www.ipec-athletes.de/index.ph...ask=view&id=25

                              The above site also has downloads for all IPEC dressage tests.



                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Peg View Post
                                I have been diagnosed with fibromyalsia (if one can call it a diagnosis as it's a "rule out" disorder). I am learning to ride and if I can, would like to compete. If I have a significant problem with my riding to keep me from competing AA, how do I look into the riders with disabilites program? Peg

                                Hi there,

                                I also have Fibromyalgia , dx'd 4-5 yrs ago.
                                I did the Lyrica study and I suggest you check with your Dr to see if it will work for you. I found it to be my solution and now have an easier time with a few relapses here and there.
                                If you are only just starting to ride I would concentrate on getting the basics down before thinking about competiton. If your body starts to get muscle memory( takes a while) for the movements you will have a lot easier time when you don't feel good (been there).
                                I have been riding for over 20 years and had a really hard time riding for two years , not fun.
                                Take your time, find a treatment, lifestyle plan you can work with and take one day at a time. It does get better.
                                I really don't know if they still consider FM as a serious enough "disability"
                                that would give you an 'in" for the disabilities program!

                                Good Luck



                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Dressage Art View Post
                                  Since I have no ambitions to travel far to compete in big shows - I'm wondering if dispensation certificate will be useful for me.
                                  Haven't looked at this thread in a while & didn't originally see the above comment.

                                  No, it probably would not be useful to get a dispensation. Shows offering IPEC classes are few and far between. I believe, in the area where I live, maybe 2 shows offered them last year.

                                  Not only that, but you would have to be tested, certified and assigned to a grade by an IPEC evaluator.
                                  Last edited by Xhltsalute; Jan. 10, 2008, 03:07 PM.


                                  • #18
                                    Anne Romney (Mitt Romney's wife) has MS - she was bedridden and basically got her life back after starting to ride. It is a really inspirational story and a great example, I think, of how beneficial riding can be. If you are interested, COTH did an article on her in the last issue.

                                    Anne rides at the GP level now, btw.
                                    Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon