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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Syd's Exciting News!

In case you missed last week's blog by our Para-Equestrian friend and supporter, Sydney Collier, please click here to check it out. This week, Sydney can't wait to share with you some exciting news about something that she been striving and working so hard towards for years...
By Sydney Collier 
Hey everyone! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Sydney Collier and I ride Para Dressage for the United States! I'm super excited to share with you all that I was recently selected as a member of the team headed over to Rio for the Paralympics this summer!

I'd love to take you all on this journey with me and share some things with you about the preparation for the Paralympics. Right now is the crazy time while we're just getting ready for all of it - between training, official paperwork and packing, things can get super busy. I'm so lucky to have my mom here with me to help me make sure we are organized in order to have a smooth trip to Rio.

You're probably wondering, "How do the horses get to Rio?"  Well, the horses actually fly in an airplane to their destination.  Most horses handle the flight really well. In fact, on our flight to the World Equestrian Games in 2014 to Normandy, France the horses flew on the same flight as us, on what's known as a combi plane.  The front of the plane is for traditional passengers and the back is typically used for more unusual passengers.  

They told us besides horses, animals like polar bears, lions and even dolphins have flown with them! If you weren't a part of the team traveling with our horses there is no way you would have known that there were horses on the flight. They fly 2 horses in a shipping container with stalls the size of conventional trailers. It's important for the crates to be small because it makes the horses feel safer and prevents them from moving too much during the flight. My groom, Amy, said that the most difficult part of the flight for them was landing but once we came to a stop they all settled down.

Going over to Rio is a bit different though; the horses will fly on a separate flight with professional flying vets from Miami, Florida to Rio on Sept 3rd. The team and I will fly from Miami to Houston, Texas for team processing on the 3rd and then meet up with the horses in Rio on the 4th.
Rosie, my mount for Rio, is an experienced flyer and international competitor; she was on the team for the Paralympics in 2012 in London as well! So I know she's going to put her best hoof forward! The end of August really can't come fast enough! The anticipation makes it seem like time is going by so slowly. I think that the US has the best team we could have and it's such an honor to be a part of it!

My Equicizer has been a key part to my success and to getting this far in my riding career. His name is Wyburn and he is a gentle giant with incredibly low maintenance! Believe it or not his food, farrier and vet bill hasn't cost me a thing since we first got him! He's amazing because I can ride him as long as I want every day. Without Wyburn I have no idea where my fitness level would be. I highly recommend an Equicizer to anyone trying to decide if they want to ride, or even trying to further their own riding career! He's even really great with kids; so gentle and kind tempered! The other bonus to the Equicizer is that you can get really creative with your exercises. You can do exercises specific to what muscle group you want to target that day in your workout. The movement is so similar to the horses movement that you can barely tell the difference between an Equicizer's gait and a horse's gait. I love my Equicizer so much!

I am so excited to keep you all updated as Rio gets closer. Thank you so much for following my #JourneytoRio and a million thanks to everyone at Equicizer for your incredible support. I couldn't do it without you and Wyburn on my team!!!


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