Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Aussie rider, visually impaired, and thoroughbred

A sweet story: a woman who knows how to appreciate her blessings, and a gorgeous horse...


14 comments:

  1. What an inspiration. I know there was a totally blind rider somewhere who rode to sounds, so perhaps Sue-Ellen will not be forced to stop riding her amazing horse.

    Someone on one of the boards commented that part of the miracle was a Thoroughbred showing at Grand Prix dressage. My PJ, if he did not have soundness issues, would have been able to compete very successfully against warmbloods. And Hilda Gurney certainly took Keen to the Olympics. The right TB and the right training...why not??

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  2. What an inspirational woman, and what a fantastic horse!

    When I was learning to ride as a kid, I took lessons with a deaf girl. I suppose that's not quite as hard as being blind but imagine not being able to hear your instructor call out instructions. It made her progression a bit slower than the rest of us but she still did amazingly well. The other part that made it difficult was that she had poor balance due to her deafness, which some people forget about. And yet it seemed to be almost like physical therapy for her...her balance got better and better the longer she rode. In no time she was showing successfully in the hunter-jumper circuit. Now she successfully runs a boarding stable with her mother.

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  3. Wow... I'm with the newsfolks, definitely sitting here wiping my eyes. What a great story! And Ko-Olina (sp?) sure is a GOOD BOY. He's really big for a TB, too, don't you think? I wish the video had showed them doing some piaffe or half-pass as I would have liked to see him really strut his stuff. Thanks for finding this!

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  4. JAnne Gribbons some years back also had an OTTB that she took to GP. Thorobreds are not useless and they are so athletic that most of the time they can very easily transition from the track into a new career!

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  5. There is not a doubt in my mind that her horse knows enough about his rider's plight to want to keep her safe. She may not always compete, but she will not stop riding him as long as he is able. I have taught a few students who were visually impaired;we used sounds to orient them in the ring. The horses were always 100% with the rider and this worked very well. I love these amazing animals, more and more.

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  6. Well, I was crying tears of joy right along with her! What a fabulous story. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. "every day that I get to ride a beautiful animal," what a lesson for us all! Lovely, touching story- I certainly had a tear in my eye by the end! I've always wondered if I would continue to ride if I were disabled, and now I see it is totally possible, and fulfilling. I love to see the willingness of the show to accommodate her sight by holding the lights, that was very heartwarming to see.

    Have admired your blog for awhile now, so I'm now your latest follower! Best, Corinna

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  8. I held it together pretty well until she thanked her horse-
    this is really just a joy to watch on so many levels....thank you for posting!

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  9. As a therapeutic riding instructor, this is my kind of story. I have been teaching a child who is blind. I might have to try LED lights. How inspirational!

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  10. Wonderful story! I'm sitting here sobbing! What courage! Such an inspiration.

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  11. What an awesome story! I just finished reading Fugly's post on another training travesty, so this was a much needed pick me up.

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  12. Wow.


    I live in Sydney and volunteered at that event. I wish I had seen her ride! Just amazing.

    I'm off to google more about her!

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