Barbara doing groundwork with her "baby," Prancer. Photo by Diane Truxillo
If you are a regular California Riding Magazine reader, you will recognize the name and face of our own So Cal Para-Equestrian sweetheart – Barbara Adside. And, yes, you will see her at Horse Expo Pomona Jan. 31-Feb 2.
The funding shortfall that precluded travel to New Jersey in June for competition at the Paralympic selection trials was both a blessing and a curse. Barbara's core group of supporters here in California felt sure she could have qualified if she could have participated at the trials. (The Paralympic Equestrian Team rarely includes West Coast-based riders simply because the expense of transporting to the qualification venue in New Jersey is often prohibitive.)
The fundraising that was done for Barbara's shot at the 2012 trials did generate great things. She was able to drive herself back to Long Island, N.Y. for prosthetic work with a bit more in her travel budget. (Motels enroute were still not affordable though. Sleeping in her car at truck stops was the norm.) She has been seeing the same prosthetic provider for many years and he intimately knows her subtle physical nuances. Her new "legs" (that were several years overdue in being replaced) help her move at her best when she is standing tall.
Barbara on Jazzman at Del Mar, where she qualified to go to the Paralympic trials. Photo by Lindsay McCall
Barbara also received a newborn Knabstrupper colt as a gift. He has already been classified by the Knabstrupper Association from Denmark, earning high marks for his ground manners, conformation and potential as a sporthorse and breeding sire. We hope to see "Baby" Prancer showcased at the Expo by Barbara, along with his sire, Pegasus. Pegasus is the horse Barbara trained on and planned to take to New Jersey for the trials. Baroque-n-Dreams Farm in Anza, where Pegasus stands at stud, has been a generous supporter of Barbara in her Para-Equestrian endeavors. The combined efforts of Barbara and Prancer's breeders at the farm positioned him well to walk away from his recent evaluation with such high marks. Hopefully, Prancer will be fully weaned by the end of January, allowing him to participate at Expo
Barbara has yet to redeem the generous gift of a full tuition at the Natural Horsemanship University for the degree of her choice. She may attend the Parelli Institute in either Colorado or Florida. But she wants to take the very best horse she can for the training. None of the six horses that she currently owns is quite the right fit for the task. With the exception of Prancer, all are rescue horses that would not be suitable. And she is saving for the cost of boarding for her and the horse while she is there as well as the transport to and from the University. But it's nice to know this is waiting for her. The Paralympic rider from Canada that uses Parelli's methods did quite well in August.
Meanwhile, Barbara continues to work in her passion to supplement her savings. In addition to training her own baby, Prancer, Barbara has recently begun training horses for others. Her upcoming travel plans include both the Olympic ramp-up events – the World Games in Normandy, France in 2014 as well as the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015. Continuing to be a presence in the show circuit, as a suitable horse is available, will hopefully put her in good stead to be in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Paralympics.
Pegasus, the beautiful Knabstrupper stallion that Barbara often shows.
Photo by Erpelding Photography
If you are interested in becoming part of her team, contact her foster brother, Irwin Pascul at email@example.com. He is handling much of Barbara's correspondence as her dyslexia makes it difficult to spend much time on the computer. Irwin is also in the process of starting a non-profit foundation to benefit all disabled, competitive riders. We welcome anyone interested in helping with that venture to contact Irwin as well.
If you are able to enjoy Horse Expo Pomona at the end of the month, be sure to look up Barbara. She should have a daily spot in the Breed Showcase venue. Take a minute to chat with her. Anyone that meets her is inspired by her genuine spirit of humility combined with strong determination. She's a winner for anyone to add to their circle of acquaintances, and a true jewel for those of us privileged to call her a friend.