Friday, January 7, 2011

Bettina Eistel: Work what you got!

Some time ago Bob and I were listening to the radio--a local women's music program--and a song came on we both loved. The title, and the theme of the song, was  Work what you got!  The singer seemed to be offering advice about dancing, and maybe life in general. The song was fun, and happy, and it made you feel like you really could get out there and shake your booty :-).

Bettina's story reminds me of this song. Bettina is a dressage rider who has no arms. She uses her feet to tack up her horse, but also to eat and drink, to grasp stuff, and yes, to smoke. There is a Youtube video of her smoking but I don't think she was aware of being videotaped (NOT COOL), so I'm not sharing it. The point is, she is such a cool character that she makes using her feet seem unbelievably sexy.  She wrote a book, which I hope will be translated from German to English.
clipped from

The determined Bettina Eistel and her very special horse, Fabuleax 5.

I saw this photo today and it took a while for my brain to register what I was seeing…  Take a look.

Look closely...
Yup.  No arms.  Her name is Bettina Eistel and her horse is Fabuleax 5.
What is even more compelling than the fact that she can brush her horse with her feet, is that she competes, very well, at the Paralympics in dressage.
Bettina didn’t just overcome her disability, she walloped it!
(Kinda makes me feel ridiculous for complaining about anything having to do with just about anything…)
blog it


  1. She probably has the best balance you could imagine, simply because of the amount of time she spend on one foot. Plus she can't balance herself on uneven terrain....
    Pretty inspiring, and I love her horse. Horses like those are one in a million.
    I know what I'll think of next time something seems too hard!

  2. I'm awestruck. I saw some more pictures online. She can hold the rein with her big toe, clutch the stirrup with the rest of her foot and still has the dexterity to hold a dressage whip. Her horse is priceless and her balance is unbelievable.

  3. It is amazing what a human can do if they just forget about what society expects.

    My hat is off to this incredible rider, woman, and human.

  4. Your last comment is most perceptive. People like Bettina remind us to be humble in the face of adversity.

    Gotta love that horse. But, when I think of how intuitive and intelligent our equine partners are, perhaps Fabuleax is just being what every horse could be if we let them. Imagine the bond and the trust he and Bettina have in each other. Something to aspire to, I think!

  5. Her flexibility and strength mus be out of this world!

  6. Incredible! And thank you... I will remember this the next time I start whining about.... well... anything.

  7. Someone sent this to me a few weeks ago and I was completely astounded. It really makes me stop and think before I complain the minor obstacles I have to deal with on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing it - it's good to be reminded again that where there is a will, there is a way.

  8. Wow, we should all stop whining about our petty little problems, huh? That is amazing!!


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