Tag Archives: blind riders

On a Blind Journey to Rio 2016 – a unique crowdfunding campaign with a spin at the end…

I thought you might be interested in my story” – the email said – “My name is Verity Smith, I’m a blind dressage rider and my goal is to represent team GB and go for gold in Rio 2016.


In the lead up to London 2012, my horse died of cancer and I was involved in a head on car crash – in the end I wasn’t able to take part in the qualifying events. So now I’m holding a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds to purchase my next competition horse, beautiful Oldenburg gelding Szekit. Post 2016, the horse will be sold and the funds raised on Indiegogo will be given to two great charities – Guide Dogs for the Blind and Riding for the Disabled.

The links followed taking me through to the actual campaign (see it here: The Kingdom’s Horse) and to Verity’s website and it became immediately obvious to me that whoever is behind this project is all in. Anyone can put together a website and a crowdfunding campaign nowadays but to give them personality, humour and breath of fresh air despite obvious obstacles as well as great attention to detail is not such an easy task. Perhaps you are surprised I mention these aspects of the whole story but I learnt that when you want to do something extraordinary you must do the ordinary, tiniest things very well. That’s what moved me in Verity’s story – the idea and its presentation – because I appreciate the thought and effort that went into it.

I especially liked the giving back element – the fact that the horse will be sold after the Olympics to help bring independence to many other blind people out there makes the whole project larger than itself. You might think, the romantic aspect of rider-horse relationship is somewhat lost here since Szekit won’t stay with Verity. However, he comes with a legacy message that might just be greater than a sentiment…

“I’d like to ask you – Verity wrote – “if you could help by sharing this campaign with your followers on your blog and any other social media you may use” 

It’s a pleasure to help someone who isn’t afraid to go out there and ask. I admire Verity’s spirit, determination and drive to make things happen…


What do you think? Will you help to make it happen? Feel free to share this post or Reblog if you like 🙂


Read more below:


VERITY’S WEBSITE:http://www.verity-smith.com/

WHAT IF YOU RODE BLINDFOLDED…- The Role of Senses in Riding

Sheila on Rex during their blindfolded lesson experiment. October 2007
Sheila on her own horse, Rex during their blindfolded lesson experiment. October 2007

A couple of days ago I read a blog post written by a woman suffering from Dystonia (a neurological movement disorder) who is trying to return to riding. She is describing her progress and in this recent post she mentions how closing her eyes influenced her actions in the saddle:  Horse Riding For Dystonians. A Progress Report.

Many riders are hindered in their progress through muscle tension and various semi-involuntary muscular reactions so I follow Dystonia Girl’s blog with interest and her thoughts took me back several years when one of my then riders and I did a series of quite experimental training sessions…

Here is what I wrote about it in October 2007 on my other blog:

“[…] The blindfold idea has hunted me ever since, as a 16 years old helper at a riding school in Poland, I had a group of blind children to teach. They were in between 10-12 years old and none of them ever sat on a horse. Teaching them was an incredible experience as most of them were blind from birth or their vision was so impaired that the only thing they saw was light differences.

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