Bettina Eistel: An Armless Hero On Horseback
To say that Bettina Eistel is an accomplished dressage horse competitor with a disability is a huge understatement. With 2 silver and a bronze medal at the Vice-Europe in Portugal, 3 silver medals at the Vice World Champion in Belgium, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, 3 German Championships, and a bronze and silver medal in Hong Kong at the 2008 Paralympics, Eistel has quite the resume for any rider, let alone one with no arms.
Eistel was born with the birth defect when her mother was given Thalidomide, commonly given to pregnant mothers until it was later learned the drug was responsible for birth defects. Having no arms from birth, Eistel learned to do everyday tasks such as eating, drinking, putting on make-up, etc with her feet and toes. As a child, Eistel was enrolled in horseback riding lessons and taught herself the balance required to ride a horse as well as how to saddle, bridle, wash, and brush her horse with her feet.
Competing in horse dressage; a sport that features competitive horse training whose fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse, Eistel taught her horse to respond to a combination of voice commands, leg aides and head movements. Riding with boots that have cut outs for her toes, Eistel rides Fabuleax 5 (her horse) with two sets of reigns; one in her mouth and one in her toes.
Eistel hasn’t stopped with being a top of line horse dressage athlete. After high school, she completed college and went to work as a graduate psychologist in Hamburg, Germany. To add to her long list of accomplishments, her upbeat optimistic attitude landed her a job as a popular TV Talk Show Host with a weekly show.
Agor Enterprises provides and designs vehicle and in home mobility solutions making the world accessible for people with disabilities. Agor Enterprises is a member of NMEDA and is QAP certified. Agor Enterprises is committed to providing the highest standard of safety and service in the industry. Built on the principal that dedication, service to the customer, and quality are paramount in running a successful business, Agor Enterprises continues to be a leader in customized solutions for the physically challenged. Agor Enterprises has also equipped golf carts, lawn mowers, tractors, and houses with various adaptive devices. We continue to welcome challenges to provide solutions that enable independence.