I have always loved teaching. Part of this is what led me to tutoring for 5 years, one of my many jobs to sustain the horse habit in college. And then while on the university’s dressage team, I had a few opportunities to coach at shows when our real coach was unavailable. While I cannot take much credit for my teammates’ successes, I found it truly rewarding to be able to help in those stressful 10 minutes before a test and was always super proud when they did well.
Since college I have had few chances to ‘teach’ beyond giving my sister lessons when I return home, and a brief stint of giving lessons to a fellow-boarder before she officially retired her old gelding.
Saturday though I had a chance to not coach, but support Ali as she battled her dressage demons. It was a showdown in the little white box, and I was there to give a few words of advice, but mostly encouragement as she and Baron faced their fears. Ali is a beautiful rider and Baron, a very good boy, so it was no wonder that they brought home a blue and a red ribbon and some amazing scores! 28.2 and a 31- not bad for someone who refers to dressage as ‘the sand box’! I haven’t seen that many 8’s in a long time!
While again I make no claim to their victories, it reminded me how extremely rewarding it is to help someone succeed in this sport. Every horse person deals with trials and tribulations from time to time and it is important to lift someone up whenever possible. Since we are normally competing in the same division, our opportunities to help each other at shows are slim to null, so it was great to cheer them on from the sidelines. Go Ali and Baron!