Dressage Rider Holly Bergay Sees the Positive Side of Everything, Even Her Disability - Part 3

Holly Bergay is a Serious Student, Whether in the Dressage Ring or the School Room

This year, Holly Bergay started her freshman year in high school. And her academic goal for the year is to achieve what she did last year – straight As. “I’m taking difficult classes so my life is pretty much just school and riding,” Holly said.

Although she doesn’t yet know what she’ll do for a career, she does know she’ll go to college and she knows that horses and riding will always be part of her life. And most likely, she’ll succeed at whatever she does because hard–working is one word that describes her. This young rider, who trains with Pat Baker-Hutter, describes herself as a “perfectionist.” And she likes dressage because “I like a challenge and dressage is very empowering when you do it right and I like that about it. It really fits my personality.”

To compete in regular dressage competitions, Holly had to get special permission from the USDF, which required a lot of paperwork. “It’s basically just stapled to all my tests and the judges can just look and see what I’m allowed to use. It makes my test like a whole book, but other than that, it’s not a big deal. We’ve pretty much got it down by now,” Holly said.

She also had to make adjustments in how she uses her reins, particularly for double bridle work. “I use one rein. My left rein has loops in it, but I still use two bits. I have a converter system and with that, I can pretty much ride how other people ride.” And she’s not the least bit worried that her disability will limit her as she rides her way to the Grand Prix level. Holly matter-of-factly states that what ever challenges arise will be overcome. “There is always something we run into, but we always figure it out. We just work things out as we go along and if anything else comes up along the way, we’ll just adjust.”