My Right Foot

Christy Brown’s Left Foot in the 1989 Irish drama was the center of the story. 

Brown was born with cerebral palsy and had control only over his left foot.  Growing up in a poor, working-class family, he managed to become a writer and artist.  

My Left Foot

The film, a partly fictional biography, shows how Brown evolves from not being able to walk or talk, to being able to write, with his left foot, and yes, even play street football, while still not walking.

While “My Left Foot” won many awards, and raised new awareness of some of the unimaginable abilities a strong mind can posses, my own Right Foot hasn’t made much of itself…

It’s always there, poking in.

In just about any picture on horseback I ever see.

Never mind it put me through both college and grad school on a scholarship, and can still, long past middle age, whip out a mean mile on the track.  Yes, it still holds its own in the 800′.

In dressage, the thing is an absolute, total handicap.

It stems from how we are all differently put together in the hips.  I could let the poking heel be the end of effective riding, focusing endlessly on the asymmetry, and get more and more down.

Or, decide to live with it, continue to be aware, and focus on keeping things as light as possible, and get on with riding.  In dressage, more so than other equestrian disciplines, we’re really quick to point out the faults and focus on them to the point we feel no progress can ever be made until it’s gone.

I don’t think this guy feels all that let down by it.

Edward-Gal-Glocks-Undercover-IMG_4689Be like Edward Gal, ride anyway!  I will.

Let’s hear it for all the riding position challenges!


3 thoughts on “My Right Foot

  1. I once happened across some video (who knows where?) of Edward Gal from the rear. It’s amazing how little his legs even touch the horse…in spite of that turned heel! From the knee down, there’s often quite a bit of air space.

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    1. Yes! I’ve watched some video of him too, and it’s clear it all works fantastic for him due to training and riding with incredibly light, and quick, little aids. Leg comes on, and off before you barely notice it, and then the horse stays in the movement until told differently. Or at least so it seems to the eye 🙂 I think he uses his seat tremendously, with core and upper thighs, and then the heels just come in to “remind” here and there. Love to watch him ride!
      Well, that is NOT the case with my right heel 😉

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