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Event Announcements now available FREE to all registered users

We just reconfigured the Event Announcements forum to be available as a free service for all registered forum users. See the thread stuck at the top of that forum for more information.
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Para-Equestrian Process

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  • Para-Equestrian Process

    Could anyone shed some light on the process it takes to get a para card? While there is a very healthy therapeutic riders community around my area, it stops there - either that or typical riding. No para riders that I know of. It would be so nice to have someone who has been through it to talk through the process with.

    This is something that has intrigued me and while I've done a bit of research, it's all formalities/hypothetical when you read what is posted on the FEI/ParaEquestrian website.

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    All you need to know about U.S. Para Equestrian is on www.uspea.org and Hope Hand is the most amazing and information filled woman ever. You can find her email on that website. To get a Para card you need to go to a graded show that they have organized to have a classifier present. You can find out more here http://www.ipec-athletes.de/ also, especially about the levels of classification. I have found there is very, very poor communication between therapeutic riding facilities and the Para Equestrian world. (I evented professionally before I was paralyzed 4.5 years ago, so I know the horse world is no good at communicating anyway )...


    • #3
      Just keep contacting her. I know its crazy with the para-olympics coming up. I got my classification right before the WEG and it was a little crazy as far as communication, it was nearly two months before I got my actual card in the mail.

      You can also contact Joann Benjamin at the USEF (joannbenjamin@vdn.com) She is the one who actually set me up with a classifier.

      I made a special trip out to Blue Hill Farm (where a lot of the para-riders train) to meet a classifier, you do not need to do it at a show. You don't have to ride for the classification either, it was just a simple test of what I was and wasn't capable of doing based on standing and sitting and my range of motion and ability to deal with resistance. The whole thing lasted about 20 minutes and the classifier was super nice.

      Hope this helps!


      • Original Poster

        Thank you, that helps a lot. I can imagine things are hectic right now. I've read through the levels of classification pretty extensively - it was just actually finding a classifier where I was getting stuck. Thanks though!


        • #5
          Unfortunately, you're probably going to have to travel to a CPEDI venue to meet with a classifier (or classifiers). There seems to be no other way to get a classification exam done.

          My Para student and I drove from Denver to San Diego in March so she could be examined by a pair of Physical Therapists. Lovely people, BTW.

          There are not that many classified Para riders internationally, let alone nationally. It doesn't make sense for the organization to offer examinations anywhere except at the very large shows. There are VERY few PTs certified to classify Paras. They are spread thin!

          It's not easy for Paras, that's for sure, and it's unfortunate. Also, the examination as now constructed is outmoded, based on 60-year-old testing techniques for disability. But it's all they've got. Modern medicine and diagnostics have outstripped this method used to classify disability.

          It was tough enough to get the governing bodies to accept what's used now and I surmise no one is eager to go through the process again to update the classification procedures.