The Plaid Horse Questionnaire with Britt Bardwell

The Plaid Horse Questionnaire with Britt Bardwell
Photo by Winslow Photography

From the magazine

Status: Amateur

Occupation: Project Assistant for an engineering firm

Hometown: Temperance, MI

As a horsewoman, I am most proud of: the bond my current horse, Joey, and I have created together with the help of so many people! Since I don’t have the length of leg that other riders do, Joey primarily listens to my voice along with my body. I’m always talking to him.

As a horsewoman, I would most like to improve on: the timing of my voice commands. Sometimes I’m not as accurate with them as I’d like to be, so I want them to be more consistent.

One thing I wish people knew about differently-abled riders is: there’s more than one way to get the job done.

I’d be lost without: towels in my ring bag because they can buff boots or they can buff ponies for that last minute shine before going in the ring. I’d be lost without Joey’s kangaroo stuffed animal in my tack trunk. It’s just a fun little keepsake that completes my trunk.

I think the biggest misconception about our sport is: that all the rider does is sit there. People who don’t participate in our sport will never understand exactly how much work is done between both horse and rider.

Photo by Winslow Photography

I think the biggest misconception about differently-abled riders is: I honestly have never come across any misconceptions. I’ve made so many supportive friends in the sport throughout the years that I’ve always just been looked at and treated like any ordinary person. Nobody looks at me and thinks twice about anything that I do. Yes, I do things differently to make it work for me, but never any misconceptions. Often it’s just the reaction of, “Oh it’s just Britt doing X, Y, and Z.

Something I say ten times a day is: “hello, my love,” when talking to my horses.

My favorite horse book is: Whole Food for Horses.

My favorite non-horse book is: The Defining Decade.

The most difficult part of life with horses is: The perfectionist mindset we all have. With horses, being “perfect” doesn’t exist. We can only strive to be better.

The part of horsemanship I’m best at is: making sure my horse’s laundry is clean, tack is cleaned and conditioned, and grooming supplies and trunks are clean.

I sometimes struggle with: our downward transitions. It’s a constant work in progress for us.

My absolute favorite horse show is: Traverse City, Kentucky, or WEC (both locations). I couldn’t pick a favorite. I’ve got lots more on my bucket list.

My motto is: I will do what others won’t do today, so I can do what they can’t do tomorrow.

Women in our sport are: tough and compassionate at the same time!

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