hastko verity smith sport equitation para athlete

Meet Verity Smith

My name is Verity Smith – I am a blind international dressage rider. Today I participate and win events for able-bodied riders at the elite level.

Verity, do you think you live your riding differently?

I deeply believe that much of my success as a rider – beyond the hard work, sweat and tears – is due to this unique sensitivity and feelings that my loss of sight gives me. Today I lost 90% of my vision, but when I go up I completely forget it. All my other senses are focused on the movement and balance of my horse. I feel like a little centaur, I free myself from my blindness and all my senses are impregnated in my horse.

If the plate is the fundamental axis of any trainer, for me it is also a GPS!

VERITY SMITH, Para-Dressage rider, blind.

Unlike other dressage riders, my seat is my one and only solid point of contact with the world around me when riding. By my seat, I feel the commitment of my horse and I count the strides, which obviously helps me to execute my tricks, but it also allows me to evaluate the space in which I evolve to know where I stand. located on the track. If the plate is the fundamental axis of any trainer, for me it is also a GPS! Close and precise contact is therefore essential and wearing underwear that improves this contact is imperative and can be the difference between a simple competition or a victory.

You tested HÄSTKO panties and Ridingpad for us and you loved it. Can you tell us more about it?

HÄSTKO underwear is both comfortable and flexible! They allow you to sit deep in your horse and truly go with the movement without hesitation or loss of sensation. They made a real difference in my performance. The softness and cushioning of the pad encourages me to be more flexible in my hips and pelvis. Thus, I better feel the locomotion of my horse and I accompany him with more fluidity. (And no need to take my usual hot baths to relieve myself after long days of training!) Finally, HÄSTKO underwear is very discreet in its design – it does not leave visible marks under these white competition pants notoriously ruthless. 

Verity Smith, international dressage rider, blind. COPYRIGHT: © MELISSA SHORTEN / SWNS.COM

Would you recommend these underwear?

Yes, it will truly revolutionize your riding! We riders research and invest in all kinds of products to improve our technique and feel – from gloves, to jodhpurs, to boots and saddles – yet we rarely invest in our underwear. I say thank you to HÄSTKO for this panty revolution!

What are your future ambitions?

My goal, my dream, my hope, is to represent my country at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as a member of the Para-Olympic team but also of the Olympic dressage team. I would be the first rider in history to do so. It's an extremely ambitious goal, but my motto is: "If you don't aim for the stars, your feet will never leave the ground!" After the sad passing of Szekit, my beautiful competition horse, I have been training with my new dance partner Daisy and we plan to compete internationally for France in 2021. So keep an eye out.