NeuroEq: Neurodiversity Inclusion in the Equestrian CommunityDedicated to the inclusion of neurodivergent riders and trainers in equestrian sports and the education of our community about neurodiversity.
Who Are We?
NeuroEq is an organization of neurodivergent equestrians and trainers and our allies who have come together for the purpose of creating greater inclusion of neurodiversity in equestrian sports and to educate our community about neurodiversity. We have a show team and support each other at horse shows and other equestrian events.
NeuroEq was founded in 2023 by neurodivergent author, equestrian, and mental health expert Katie Pryal. If you are interested in learning more about NeuroEq, contact her. If you are supportive, kind, and generous, we have space on our team for you.
Our current projects include advocating for greater accessibility for neurodivergent riders in USEF and USHJA events. (Learn more about disability access for riders under USEF rules.) By changing the game (literally) at the top-level organization, we can then work to proliferate the changes to local organizations and shows.
Stay up to date with the latest NeuroEq events on our Instagram page: instagram.com/neuroeq.
What is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity refers to the range of differences in brain function and behavior that are part of the normal variation in the human population.
As the Cleveland Clinic explains, “Neurodivergent is a nonmedical term that describes people whose brains develop or work differently for some reason. This means the person has different strengths and struggles from people whose brains develop or work more typically.”
A neurodivergent person might be autistic or have ADHD, or they might have anxiety disorder or chronic depression.
The symbol adopted by the neurodivergent community is the rainbow infinity symbol used in our logo.
Show Team Members
Our team is growing, so check back soon. If you are interested in joining, contact Katie Pryal.
Katie is a a bipolar-autistic adult rider who returned to riding after a 20-year hiatus. She rode on the Duke University Equestrian Team, graduating in 1998. She rides hunters and jumpers on her 2018 KWPN mare Georgette. She is the author of many books that center mental health and neurodiversity, including Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (Blue Crow, 2017) and A Light in the Tower: A New Reckoning with Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (U. Kansas Press, forthcoming 2024). She also writes many short pieces for magazines, including the Mom, Interrupted column on being an autistic mom of autistic kids in Catapult Magazine. She lives in Chapel Hill.
Jenna is an adult rider in her mid-20s who has been riding consistently since childhood, competing primarily in hunters and occasionally in dressage. She has anxiety and depression, ADHD, and chronic pain/migraines. She owns a photography business (Jenna Smith Equine Photography) and works as a full-time barn manager. Follow her on Instagram at instagram.com/jen_tography. She lives in Chapel Hill.
A. is a neurodivergent 14 year old who competes in hunters and jumpers on his 2017 paint pony Asha.
We are lucky to partner with many supportive organizations in our community.
More information coming soon!