It may sound unrealistic, but it’s true; this amazing lady, Verity Smith, is blind and she knows how to ride a horse. A person with many talents, Verity Smith wasn’t born blind; at one stage of her life, she was left blinded by a terrible disease. Even before she went blind, Ms. Smith was fortunate enough to build some kind of bondage between horses and her. As she was gradually losing her eyesight, that bondage grew stronger and stronger. Now she is a world-class rider who competes in celebrated events.
She learnt riding horses with a passion and in the course of time, her riding reached a maturity whereby she is able to see through the horse’s eyes. Verity Smith roamed through many destinations in Europe engaging herself in training of exclusive horse riding. She came in touch with talented trainers, especially one in France whom she describes as “amazing” who was kind enough to let her ride all his horses. It is in his stable where she has found the perfect horse named “Szekit” that will accompany her to 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Szekit was discovered by Ms. Smith at the end of a long quest for the dream horse all over Europe. As she reveals this in an interview recently with BBC that her quest for finding the perfect horse was like an endless stream of “speed-dating” ; she was learning the distinct character of each horse. Her incentives for being so passionate about competing at the 2016 Rio Paralympics were a series of devastating events that took place in 2011 and 2012. Her horse, Marcus, was diagnosed with cancer and eventually became invalid; moreover, her guide dog retired and Ms. Smith was injured critically in a car accident. Consequently, she had to be dropped out of the 2012 London Paralympics.
Her forced exclusion from the London Paralympics had a profound impact on her mind; instead of giving up riding, she gathered strength, after healing herself from illness and trained hard for the Rio Paralympics. Besides, she had to raise a huge amount of money (80,000 Pound Sterling) in order to acquire Szekit, he is not cheap! She relentlessly put her best efforts to make her plan a success. Blindness could not keep her away from pursuing her goal(s); seemingly, her will power is stronger than the damage caused by her departed eyesight.
Verity Smith sure is physically challenged as she is devoid of one of the five senses; nevertheless she is gifted with many talents. She is a singer and a lyricist as well; and people often call her the “blind songwriter” with affection. As she is loved by everyone around her, her love spreads like inspiration for every physically challenged person. But above all, she loves horses and the horses love her too. Verity Smith has this rare quality of understanding horses and at establishing a communication with them while she is in thesaddle. That is one the essential characteristics of a champion rider and there is no doubt,
Verity Smith is one of them.