top of page
  • Writer's pictureKathy Troxler

Horse Girls through History: Lis Hartel

The story and amazing accomplishments of Lis Hartel are certainly worth remembering!

#horsegirl Lis Hartel
Lis Hartel, first female Olympic Equestrain

Continuing to repost some of my favorites for March, Horse Girls Through History!

The story and amazing accomplishments of Lis Hartel are certainly worth remembering.

I think you shall see that throughout time, “horse girls” are the leaders of the pack in defying conventions. But do equestrian pursuits create these strong, adventuresome women or do these females let nothing stand between them and satisfying their craving for the company of these powerful animals? Bit of both? Who cares, but I’m sure someone has expounded on the idea at some point or another.

I give you Lis Hartel from Denmark. Being the first woman to medal in an Olympic Equestrian event would be more than enough to put Lis on the history making list, but when you add in the fact that Lis did so 8 years after contracting polio—AND she remained paralyzed from the knees down—then the extraordinary factor goes through the roof. Lis Hartel’s story is very well documented on the internet so you could click on one of the many, many articles written about her.

To sum iot all up, Lis defied the opinion of her doctors and did her own rehab, competed successfully at open International level competitions (in the beginning no one knew about her condition but because she couldn’t mount or dismount without help it became common knowledge pretty quickly) was the first woman to be on an Olympic equestrian team and the first woman to medal. After she retired from competition she continued to coach and teach added another “first” to her list of accomplishments when she opened the first Therapeutic Riding Center in Europe.

Lis didn’t follow examples—she forged the way. Horse Girls—Bad-Ass Women of Any Age.


bottom of page