Public Awareness Before Fundraising

Raising awareness means everything to me.
I spent most of my life in able-bodied classes without a dispensation, without specialized equipment, and, of course, would place last.  I still loved competing.  As a lark, I showed a walk/trot dressage test in 2011 with a 5 year old Arabian and did quite well.  My trainer took that momentum and talked me into attending a Para Dressage Symposium in California in October, 2013 with Clive Milkens and Denny Callin.  I learned that I could be truly competitive.   
in 2013, I was originally (incorrectly) classified as a Grade IV, the least disabled grade. When tested for my international para card, I was reclassified as a Grade III.  It was devastating to ;earn that I was more disabled than I ever realized.  Of course, it all makes sense now.  I wasn’t just clumsy or forgetful; most people don’t bang into walls or fall down for no apparent reason.  In high school, my nickname was Wiggles because it described my gait.  All of that time, I castigated myself, pushing myself to try harder or longer, when what I really needed to do was try differently – to compensate.
So… I want to educate other little girls (or grown women) to grasp the breadth of their horizons; to teach that some struggles can be mitigated with the right equipment and/or training.  People with disabilities are capable of almost anything, including international dressage competitions.  My dream – my life – is better since finding out about para-dressage.
Raising awareness means everything to me.

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