Second dressage lesson. It went well, but was executed one hour + in 100 degree heat. I think my learning curve dropped rapidly after the first half hour. Blasted sun. Shorten my reins!! I am now hearing Allison's words in my sleep. My reins are almost always too long, and I tend to freeze my hands and elbows instead of letting them go wiggly and move with my horse. We worked on turning on the forehand and halfpass which are so basic but Jackson has never done any of that in his life. My previous dressage lessons have consisted of riding very learned school horses so how much have I retained? More (and sometimes less) than I thought, but it is much different when you are also teaching your green horse as well as relearning the stuff yourself. Jackson learns it faster than I do though; he is AMAZING! I haven't had lessons in A LONG TIME....
Anyway, I was talking to Allison and asking her questions about herself and was amazed at what I learned. She is very modest about herself, but I did glean that she has performed in front of very renowned European judges here in Texas at the Grand Prix level and her favorite thing to do was--NO FOLKS, NOT DRESSAGE!!!! She was an EVENTER!!!! (For those of you who don't know, dressage is only a piece of what I want to do on Jackson,--an important one--but my ultimate dream is to event). She is 79 years old and from England. Her husband, Alex, was a professional polo player and trainer. She told me that he has that little extra something with the horse when he rides that one doesn't often see. I thought I knew what she meant, I've seen it in certain riders. But then she said something that rendered me COMPLETELY speechless. She said, "You have it too, I see it." OK, folks. I trust her and I think if she says something she really means it. But me? Hard to believe. I can't dance. I'm clumsy. I work really hard to ride well. I'm not sure it exactly comes naturally. Sometimes it feels like we are one, but not often...Of course, I have only just begun with this horse....but still! Anyway, I'll take the compliment and hope it has credence. It would be nice to have an extra little something at something in life! Especially my favorite thing in the world..... AND SHE USED TO BE AN EVENTER!!! Yep, sorry, I know. I already said that. ;) She knows EXACTLY where I want to go, phewwww. So she can also be useful with the fences a little down the road I hope!!!! *I am SO smiling.*
I was talking to Peggy who is the financial officer at Triple H Equitherapy and she told me a story involving Allison and Ray Hunt. For those of you who aren't familiar, Ray Hunt (now deceased) was one of the original horse whisperers and an amazing trainer. I idolize him. Check out his books if you have a chance. Anyway, apparently Allison was giving a dressage lesson right next to a ring where Ray was also teaching a group of students. Allison was giving her instruction so loudly that Ray's students couldn't hear what he was saying. Ray turned to his students and said, "Just listen to the lady next door, she knows what she's talking about." LOL!
I have so much to learn, but I think I have hit on a gem in Allison. She is a tough teacher, but I am LEARNING from her.