So! Let’s talk disability representation and this GoogleDoodle. Like why are there animals, not people? Why do we sanitize the disability experience, making it cute (because yes horse in a curling sled is cute) instead of giving realistic drawings of, you know, the actual disabled athletes we will be seeing over the next week at the Winter Paralympics? SO much to unpack about how, regardless of what is proclaimed, disabled bodies are still minimized, still hidden in favor of cute animals.
It’s like this morning during the opening ceremony, when the International Paralympic Committee president spoke passionately about “not being defined by disability, but it being part of you” – how are you not defined by a seminal chance, thing, genetic fluke? And why is being defined by something that has every right to define you a bad thing? When we speak of things such as representation, this is what we have to unpack.
As you can see, disability sports and the representation of disabled athletes interests me greatly, as a writer and amateur disabled athlete. Such opportunity for change, and also for disability representation pitfalls.
So things in equine-world are pretty fun right now. Piggles the Morgan has fancy glue-on shoes, and is pretty darn happy with them! I’m going to Los Angeles this weekend to get classified by the United States Paraequestrian Association/FEI to see where I classify and if this is a realistic goal. And having a lesson with their riding consultant, who also happens to be the one who has led the amazing British paradressage team for years.
I have no delusions of dressage greatness, the Paralympics or anything like that. I just want to have fun with the horses and have goals to work towards.
So in the name of working towards goals… my trainer has a new mantra for me:
Make it good-er
Yes, it’s grammatically incorrect. But the idea is this; I have a bunch of ways to do that in my riding toolbox. I can decide what to do. I can try something, see if it works, try again. I can use my experience and intellect and feel to make it good-er in a way that feels right at that moment.
There are many ways to make things good-er, and I’m cautiously approaching my non-equine life with that mindset.