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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Introducing Para-Equestrian - Sydney Collier!

We are excited to introduce you to our first guest blogger - Sydney Collier! Syd (as we all know her), is a high level Para-Equestrian dressage rider who, among many other things, was selected as a member of the 2014 US Para-Dressage Team representing the USA at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Despite her hectic schedule, Syd was delighted to write our first guest blog. For those of you who do not know Syd we would like to start off by sharing with you a previous blog written by Syd in 2013, shortly after we met her and she purchased her Equicizer "Wyburn". Stay tuned for next week, as Syd has some exciting news to share!!

By Sydney Collier
 
It has been the most amazing year so far and Wyburn and I have been keeping ourselves super busy training daily and showing almost every weekend this season! In April we relocated to Millbrook NY to train with Wes Dunham at his farm called Woodstock Stables.  

My mom’s minivan became a horse trailer and Wyburn and I traveled in style J My Mom said Wyburn was the best horse she has ever trailered and she would be happy to take him anywhere hehe!  Wyburn settled in nicely at the new barn and everybody loves him-horses and riders alike.  

Sydney & Wyburn her Equicizer
Every day I ride Wyburn at least 30 minutes before my lesson, and let me tell you the improvements in my hip flexors, balance, and overall flexibility is mind blowing.  I am able to warm up all my body parts at my pace, and then when I climb on Wentworth (my horse) for my lesson we can get right on to the learning!  How can I tell things are looser you might wonder-well for me the biggest thing I notice is that when I get on Wyburn I often need help to swing my leg over his back, and when I am warmed up I can do this movement without any help-something I LOVE!!!   
Sydney, Journey, and Wyburn
Before I had my Equicizer I had to spend at least the first 15 minutes of each lesson focused on getting my body loosened up and listening, before we could even begin to think about warming up my horse.  This took up a huge part of our lesson time and was frustrating to everyone - because we were all mentally ready to get to work.   Now I am ready to go as soon as I mount up!    After I ride I spend between 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wyburn, something Wentworth would like to personally send a big horsey kiss to Frankie about for inventing the Equicizer!  
I have a lot of work to do to be at my peak performance in dressage, and it isn’t fair to expect Wentworth to continue working when he has been a good boy!  That’s when Wyburn steps in and he will keep working as long as I keep moving J The other huge thing Wyburn has helped me with is straightening out my seat.  My trainer, Wes Dunham, and I can pinpoint when the problem begins and with a mirror I can focus on correcting what my silly brain keeps telling me is straight.    

 
By moving, watching and reacting like I would on a real horse, I have been able to recreate these corrections on my own horse and improve my riding skills incredibly.   Cardio wise I am able to withstand much more activity on and off the horse, and recently I have been working with a fitness trainer to incorporate Wyburn into my daily exercise regime.   Wyburn, Wentworth, and I are working hard to reach for our dreams, and help change people’s perception of disabilities! Every day I remind myself RIDE STRONG and enjoy every day :) 

 
About Sydney - At a young age, Sydney was diagnosed with a rare condition called Wyburn-Mason Syndrome. At age 11 during treatments, Sydney suffered a stroke that has left her partially blind along with limited use or control with the left side of her body. Still, this amazing young woman continues to inspire everyone that surrounds her and goes above and beyond to help other children with disabilities to reach for their dreams. Sydney was selected to compete as a Para-Equestrian in the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France and next week she has some exciting news she would like to share with us! So stay tuned and to learn more, visit Syd's awesome website at: Sydsparaquest.com
 
 

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