Meet Ingrid Patel | The Kerrits Inclusivity Project
2 minute read
Hello everyone! My name is Ingrid Patel. I am a middle school science and technology teacher in Va. I always wanted a horse since I was a little girl but my family couldn’t afford it. At 30, I bought an OTTB and trained her myself. I worked off lessons. I read books and watched videos about horse training. Every summer and holiday break I worked at top riders’ barns to learn the in and outs of horsemanship and make up for not being able to ride growing up. I ride western, dressage, and hunters. I even worked grooming and ponying at the race track. I have been lucky to have many wonderful mentors who taught me how ride well and to be a great horsewoman.
"Here I was, a girl from the suburbs who's family couldn't afford horses and I was learning Grand Prix moves on stallions."
This past winter I was accepted to a riding workshop in Portugal to learn dressage from a pupil of Master Nuno Oliveira. I learned to ride all of the top level dressage movements in Europe. It was a blessed dream come true. Here I was, a girl from the suburbs whose family couldn’t afford a horse and I was learning Grand Prix level moves on stallions. This year, my horse Ruby Redbird and I will be moving up to Preliminary level of eventing and going after our bronze medal in dressage. My big future goal is to ride in the Olympic Games.
It doesn't matter where you started or where you come from, if you are willing to show up and work hard...your dreams will become your reality.
I fully believe it doesn’t matter when you started or where you come from, if you are willing to show up and work hard and learn then your dreams will become your reality. I never saw anyone that looked like me on a horse when I was growing up and I would love to be able to be the one to hold the mirror up for the other little brown girls and boys and show them “Look, it’s not about what you don’t have. You can do it. People that look like you fly and dance on horseback too. This sport is for everyone.”