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Dressage Rider Gets Back on the Horse as a Double Amputee

Nov 2, 2023 |

Suzin Wells has loved horses since she was a young girl and riding has always been a part of her life. That’s why when she first became an amputee it only temporarily took her out of the saddle. Watch the video on Suzin’s journey on ABC News. 

It all started in 2018 when Suzin got a bone infection in her right foot. After 12 surgeries over three years to save it, the decision was made to amputate her lower leg. Just two months after her surgery, she was back in the saddle on her dressage horse Odie. “Riding a horse, you don’t feel disabled, you feel like you’re just like everyone else,” Suzin shared. 

Then earlier this year Suzin faced a second life-altering decision when her left foot became infected and developed into sepsis. This time she elected to just go ahead and have her foot amputated and less than a month later she resumed riding. Although adjusting to being a bilateral amputee proved more difficult, Suzin would never let it stop her from participating in the sport she has always loved. 

Her coach, Sharon Jarvis, is also a para-equestrian who has represented Australia three times in the Paralympics. “I know what it takes to get back on the horse and work through the nerves and understanding the absolute inner strength that it takes,” Sharon said. 

With Sharon’s guidance, Suzin competes with Odie and the pair recently were just named Reserve Champion at the National Dressage Championships in Victoria, Australia. “You might be missing a limb, but there is so much more of your body that you can use,” Sharon emphasized.