12-18-2011, 03:03 PM
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I am very flattered to be lumped in with anabel, but it's not exactly accurate.
I never showed above 1st level, and schooled 2nd and 3rd at home. The one horse I had with serious dressage potential, that I had hopes of taking farther, died. My other experience came either from prospects I was bringing along for sale or for clients, or on schoolhorses/schoolmasters. One of my dressage instructors had me ride a legit 3rd/4th level horse in lessons, and it was amazing.
Coming from a forward seat background, I struggled mightily with learning dressage. But I am first and foremost an instructor, so I worked hard to give my self a good grounding in theory. I read voraciously, studied video obssessively. I also was blessed with some amazing, patient, tolerant dressage instructors. (Elizabeth Lewis, Helen George, Barbara Wiefelstede, Robin Brueckmann Miller, Sandra Cabell, Allison Head)
I am now a 50+ year old, fat, unfit pleasure rider.
Anabel is the real deal. She has a horse competing at the FEI levels now that she has brought along through the levels. She has posted video of her 4th Level freestyle, and it is a joy to watch. HAPPY, relaxed, obedient horse enjoying his work and a lovely soft rider with nearly invisible aids.
So I may have a small gift for explaining things that has served me well teaching; but in terms of real, honest to god, legit experience, anabel has much more than I do or ever will.
So if her advice and mine ever conflict in matters relating to dressage....take hers.
But thanks for the compliment.