So maybe I haven’t been the most regular of bloggers…
Turns out it was hard to find a lot to say when I was still forming my own thoughts. Some people process outside of themselves and find the writing to be a great medium for change. I am a little more like a stew, put all the things in the pot and then wait patiently for a stunning result. I am now well cooked and will be blogging on a regular basis.
This summer (2019) I have reached a mile stone in what has so far been 8 years of study in classical dressage. I qualified to teach it to others.
I first found classical in hand work when I was pregnant with my first child in 2011. My pelvis couldn’t tolerate riding from a pretty early stage and my mental state couldn’t stand not doing anything with my horse. I then learnt what a valuable tool in hand work is. Being able to teach my horse to find her own balance through everything from simple bending, to lateral work and high school movements, all without the added complication of a human to balance, seemed ideal.
I started studying with The National School of Academic Equitation , here I started to learn the most profoundly wonderful French classical work. Drawn from a lineage of teaching reaching back as far as the 16th century and the Golden Age of French Equitation, this work radically affected me. The gentleness of touch they teach was paralleled only in work I had learned as a cranio-sacral therapist. In fact, during one of my early lessons, Mary Anne Campbell one of the chief instructors exclaimed that if I could only learn to have the same tactile acuity through my butt as I have through my hands I would have riding nailed in weeks!
I expanded my studies into the modern understanding of pain and movement science. How it is now known that pain doesn’t always mean damage. It can mean the nervous system is keeping you safe from the perceived potential for damage. How the old bio-mechanical view point of drilling for perfect movement form only allows a body to become strong and competent in that narrow band of practiced action. How manual body work is only part of the healing process. It affords a window of opportunity for the body to rewire new movement patterns and reassure the brain these are safe. Amazingly the more I leaned of the modern and the old, the more I could see they were describing the same phenomena but with very different descriptions according to the knowledge available at the time of writing.
Realising that by only offering body work I was only offering half of the holistic solution I aspired to be, I applied myself to my studies. This summer I spent 2 months as a working student at the National School of Academic Equitation, Seattle USA. Working 6 days a week and dreaming dressage in the hours I wasn’t working with a horse, it was an intense experience. This was my 3rd visit to their facility, and the warmth of the heart of that place will nourish me until I visit again next year At the end of my stay I was awarded the coveted credential as a Rider, Trainer and Instructor.
It is now my pleasure to offer lessons in riding, in hand work and longing. These can be separate to or interwoven with my bodywork sessions. I can help you and your horse rediscover the joy in riding. Improving balance, strength, suppleness and most importantly cultivating the beautiful, calm, engaged mind found in the most delightful horses.