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Trainers for physically disabled riders

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  • #21
    We want to ride and it is tough to mentally overcome the frustration, disappointment and loneliness of overcoming the challenges. It takes courage and determination, compassion for ourselves, and a devious creative mind. The last one is used to invent ways around the problems.
    I can't imagine NOT riding, or being around horses, when you have chronic pain, illness, or different abilities. None of it makes you LOVE them any less. And they are incredible healers, beyond words, really, how much they can help. Even if it is just to enable you for the time you are on them, but it's so much more. It's what they do for our soul.

    Ironically, I find myself identifying more with my special students at times. An injury left me with a degenerative hip that has been near impossible to get a saddle that doesn't hurt me, but that His Princeness & the Pea approves of. And recently I'm going through the diagnosis process for Fibro. The Rx they have me on is working, but I'll soon have to come off it if I can't get health insurance. Fibro is different from some issues, but the same as others that come on without warning, slapping you in the face and saying "you planned to do WHAT?"

    But they won't get the horses away from me until they pry them from my cold, dead hands.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

    Comment


    • #22
      Missy and Jessica Ransehousen are great para coaches. I had the pleasure to spend time at their farm this winter and was absolutely blown away by the para riders and their wonderful horses. I learned that to be competative on the international scene the horses must have excellent gaits, be sensitive, easy to sit and very sensible. I saw one horse after another come in with riders of varying disabilities and could not believe how wonderful the riders presented their horses.

      It was a delight to watch and extremely inspirational. Some of the riders also compete in able body classes and do very well. It made me realize that I have no complaints and that any road block I have with my riding is minimal compared to what many of these riders have to manage.

      Missy and Jessica are extremely generous with their time. Call and ask to come for a visit. The property is gorgeous and the working students are top notch.

      Comment


      • #23
        Any thoughts of trainers or riders in Virginia? I am game to put together clinics at my place in Fauquier Co. if we have enough people. Wouldn't it be lovely to have company and make it a celebration? We could have little parasols decorating the gatorade and horseback canapes, a la foxhunting stirrup cups.
        Intermediate Riding Skills

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by whicker View Post
          Any thoughts of trainers or riders in Virginia? I am game to put together clinics at my place in Fauquier Co. if we have enough people. Wouldn't it be lovely to have company and make it a celebration? We could have little parasols decorating the gatorade and horseback canapes, a la foxhunting stirrup cups.
          I believe Morven Park has therapeutic riding classes because my assistant was volunteering for them for a while (for some reason I think she learned about it through pony club but will have to ask her). I also am not certain what level they were teaching, but will try to find out.
          Roseknoll Sporthorses
          www.roseknoll.net

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
            I have a friend who is a para rider and does really well. Also, Debbie McDonald is very supportive of para riders and is doing a clinic soon for them. I am not sure where it is being held but I will try to get info. Also, check these sites out:

            http://www.hollybergay.com/_mgxroot/page_10720.html

            http://adriapara-equestrian.blogspot.com/
            My Mom won the PVDA Debbie McDonald Clinic for me. We are going to have a two day clinic in Minnesota. We are still working on dates, right now we are thinking November during the week. Holly Bergay has expressed interest in attending, I'm riding of course, and my trainer who is not a para rider has a spot. With the exception of my trainer we want all riders to be classified as para riders, we are not charing any fees for para riders and we are going to donate the auditor proceeds to the US Para Dressage Team.
            Ellie and Werther Blog

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Ellie&Werther View Post
              My Mom won the PVDA Debbie McDonald Clinic for me. We are going to have a two day clinic in Minnesota. We are still working on dates, right now we are thinking November during the week. Holly Bergay has expressed interest in attending, I'm riding of course, and my trainer who is not a para rider has a spot. With the exception of my trainer we want all riders to be classified as para riders, we are not charing any fees for para riders and we are going to donate the auditor proceeds to the US Para Dressage Team.
              Thank you for posting! I was at the PVDA Auction and Debbie was so psyched you guys got it!
              Roseknoll Sporthorses
              www.roseknoll.net

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by YankeeLawyer View Post
                Thank you for posting! I was at the PVDA Auction and Debbie was so psyched you guys got it!
                I was bidding for my Mom, she is not very comfortable with ebay, of course that night the internet went out in my apartment. It was down to wire in the last few minutes, I had to do my bidding from my iphone. I used to show hunters, and my Mom does jumpers and is friends with Bob McDonald, he should also get credit, he kept egging my Mom on to bid higher.
                Ellie and Werther Blog

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by whicker View Post
                  Any thoughts of trainers or riders in Virginia? I am game to put together clinics at my place in Fauquier Co. if we have enough people. Wouldn't it be lovely to have company and make it a celebration? We could have little parasols decorating the gatorade and horseback canapes, a la foxhunting stirrup cups.
                  PM sent
                  Janet

                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Ellie&Werther View Post
                    I was bidding for my Mom, she is not very comfortable with ebay, of course that night the internet went out in my apartment. It was down to wire in the last few minutes, I had to do my bidding from my iphone. I used to show hunters, and my Mom does jumpers and is friends with Bob McDonald, he should also get credit, he kept egging my Mom on to bid higher.
                    I would have been out of luck if the internet had gone down! I don't have an iphone and my blackberry's internet is not hot. I used to show hunters, too : )
                    Roseknoll Sporthorses
                    www.roseknoll.net

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I'd be quite interested if anyone knows of someone on the southwestern end of PA (near Pittsburgh) - One of the things that keeps holding me back from getting started riding again (besides plain old nerves and the expense of lessons ) is concern about problems I might have due to arthritis. Someone experienced with understanding the needs of someone less-than-able bodied might be a good fit for me right now.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I just want to say that I have enormous respect for those of you who are continuing to ride despite physical disablities. I have not been labeled as "disabled", but I have progessive degenerative problems in both hands/wrists from old injuries that are making it very difficult for me to ride effectively. I am now weighing my options regarding my riding, as I cannot close my left hand to hold the reins securely and have severe numbness issues in my right hand. It has been a bit discouraging, yet nothing like the issues some of you folks have been dealing with. Kudos to all of you, and best wishes in your riding endeavors!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          one numb hand = neck rein or riding thumb/right rein- pinkie left rein (for instance left hand) piano (flat) on top necessary for this but works well with a single jointed fat snaffle bit

                          a horse can be trained to accommodate any rider physical issue, if it's the rider's own horse. Since I'm unable to feel most sensation with lower legs, and none with my feet, my horses are coming up to work primarily off my seat and weight aids

                          It's the days of vertigo and nausea that keep me off the horse and on the sofa, because balance is shot. Everything else is fair game

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            How about more details of techniques?

                            How does the rubber band work? Other than zinging it off your stirrup to wake up the judge? Seriously, I am trying to see what you do with it from small photos. I read that the show jumpers used them until the ontyte stirrups came out, but they were illegal for Hong Kong.

                            I saw some rein loops in one of the catalogs. Would that help DownYonder? There was a photo on the para-equestrian site of a rider who was using her teeth to hold the reins. She had extra reins that went to somewhere around her girth or stirrup area. Her position looked great.

                            Are there websites for para equipment? Hopefully with great descriptions of how to use the product

                            I personally want a saddle that absorbs the shock of a bad step so my back doesn't get zapped.

                            I am headed down to Huntsville, Alabama to pick up my son, Mason, who has been interning at NASA. Any questions you all have for the rocket scientists?
                            I will have an opportunity to ask the gurus on Friday.
                            Intermediate Riding Skills

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              This is awesome

                              Wow, I never realized this thread would get so many responses. Of course, I live in southern NH...near nothing.

                              Tomorrow I find out if my shattered finger has filled in with enough bone and the screws are holding it together well enough for me to get back on. I'm very excited. The doctor is not worried about me riding with the finger, just falling off and severing the damaged tendons and ligaments or re shattering everything. i was told I could ride as long as i wasn't going to fall off?!?!?!? Hello doctor, I can barely walk, I have balance issues, and suffer from chronic pain. I cannot guarantee you that I will not fall off!!!!

                              I know I will only be able to walk for quite a while. My brain knows what to do, but my nerves and therefore my muscles don't get the correct signals. Fortunately, my muscle memory seems to sloooooooowly come back. My legs can't do what they used to, but I also don't have the problem of gripping too much and my sitting trot is great once I get to the point of trotting. My calmest horse is a bit on the boisterous side, so everyone keep your fingers crossed. In the beginning, I will be led around in my round pen. For someone who was a maniac on horseback as a child, pony rides are a little embarassing. I guess I am better safe and in the saddle then sorry and in the ER!!!!

                              I wish I lived closer to PA so I could take some lessons with the Ransenhousens or closer to Debbie McDonald. Even if I weren't disabled, it would be absolutely incredible to ride with someone like that. Until I regain some muscle memory, I am sure I would be a waste of their time. But wow, to ride with someone like that would be amazing. How wonderful that riders of that caliber are willing to "give back" and show an interest in disabled riders. It is very heartwarming that people of Olympic caliber don't look down on riders who cannot perform to the perfection of dressage ideals.

                              Please keep sharing your stories. They are very inspiring!!!

                              Whicker, if we have a disabled COTH ride at your place, I'm stealing Bradley's ancient Arabian
                              Beth

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                              • #35
                                I am really interested in how to do the rubber bands with the stirrup.

                                I need to get my para classification; just hitting a few dead ends on communication. I know everyone's out enjoying the nice weather and busy with shows
                                Any time someone talks about their horse in a bar, there's love in the room.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I have never seen an English rider use rubber bands in the stirrups, but I've seen some barrel racers use them.

                                  Basically all you do is take a larger, heavy-duty rubber band and make a figure eight with it. One loop goes over your toe, the "X" crosses under your foot and the bottom of the stirrup, and the other loop goes over your heel. The Western boots have soles that seem to protrude a little from the actual boot, which makes a suitable "catch" for that loop of the rubber band.

                                  It makes me uneasy, even though logic tells me that the rubber band is almost certainly going to come undone should you fall, and you won't get dragged ... but still.
                                  Full-time bargain hunter.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Rubber bands con't

                                    With the rubber band your foot could still slide forward too far? Or re-arrange position? Is it just used for in the arena, more controlled situations? It would make me a bit worried to use it on the trail. What about snagging it on branches?

                                    I saw some very heavy duty rubber bands at Tri-County Feeds. They were for holding helmet covers on or making an over-size hat fit better. They were about 1" wide.
                                    Intermediate Riding Skills

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Oh man, now you have me all thinking...wouldn't it be fabulous to have a clinic where you could ride, maybe like the USDF camps, maybe even with a competition with local horses at the facility, and have roundtable discussions about what you consider to be significant issues? Maybe even have invited speakers to address commonalities, maybe even get some companies to sponsor - let them see there is a market for devices like you need, and they can get your input on the design. And we could raise money to get grants to support the clinic, so the cost would not be overwhelming...

                                      EAW and I discussed something of the sort for rescue groups as part of Special Horses Inc. Of course, at that point, we had only just started discussing whether we should apply for 501(c)3 status, and so we weren't even able to solicit money for things like this. But I'm on the BOD of EAW's equine assisted therapy organization...so maybe we could try and pull something together?

                                      EQUINEARTWORKS...WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I HAVE THESE RUNAWAY IDEAS?

                                      EAW started a message board limited to our groups as part of www.specialhorses.org. Maybe we could start by doing something similar for her EAT site?
                                      www.specialhorses.org
                                      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" View Post
                                        Oh man, now you have me all thinking...wouldn't it be fabulous to have a clinic where you could ride, maybe like the USDF camps, maybe even with a competition with local horses at the facility, and have roundtable discussions about what you consider to be significant issues? Maybe even have invited speakers to address commonalities, maybe even get some companies to sponsor - let them see there is a market for devices like you need, and they can get your input on the design. And we could raise money to get grants to support the clinic, so the cost would not be overwhelming...

                                        EAW and I discussed something of the sort for rescue groups as part of Special Horses Inc. Of course, at that point, we had only just started discussing whether we should apply for 501(c)3 status, and so we weren't even able to solicit money for things like this. But I'm on the BOD of EAW's equine assisted therapy organization...so maybe we could try and pull something together?

                                        EQUINEARTWORKS...WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I HAVE THESE RUNAWAY IDEAS?

                                        EAW started a message board limited to our groups as part of www.specialhorses.org. Maybe we could start by doing something similar for her EAT site?
                                        you're killing me woman

                                        Having clinics and trainings for those of us with special needs is one of the main motivators behind my wanting to secure the perfect facility for our program. And a forum is on the list of things we will have on our site.

                                        But first we still need that official name!!!!!!! For those of you who don't know the history behind it, Special Horses was the name I had in mind for my program. But when geek and I first started tossing around ideas for things we needs a domain name and since I have specialhorses.org already reserved we decided to use it...and the name stuck!

                                        But now I am lost without an official name. We have names for sub programs...but not THE name. Help?
                                        I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                        Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          I am not physically disabled but I wanted to come in here and say something. Everyone of you that is physically disabled and rides has my utmost respect and admiroation. You have ignored something that would stop most people in their tracks and continued to ride. bravo to all of you.

                                          If some sort of fund raiser is done in for raising money i will buy or donate something!
                                          OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane - the big dog!
                                          Tuggy - RIP 9/12/2016 - Wait for me at the bridge
                                          Foster LolaMaria AKA LolaBean (Boxer)

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