May 3, 2012

In Which I Find My Calling

One more post about my Centered riding clinic experience. I want to make the point that the work didn’t just make sense in my own body and as a rider. What I had not anticipated at the time was that riding in a physiologically correct manner could change, permanently, the *horse’s* body. So bear with me.

I had been a piano teacher and an English teacher, a kindergarten teacher, and a tutor. I had never been interested in teaching riding or being a trainer. How many years can you tell someone to get their heels down? Bleah. I had followed the universal assumption that a rider was either talented or they weren’t, that a horse was either willing or he wasn’t, and there wasn’t a whole lot you could do except keep working at it and hope for the best. But Susan taught me otherwise.

The CR certification clinic was intense. Four (five?) days in the spring, the summer off for teaching, then four (five?) days in the fall to discuss and refresh. Again we rode twice a day and then studied Susan’s great illustrations, our little plastic human skeletons,  and each other. I got it, I felt it, I knew it was life changing, but I didn’t know how to apply it to a student.  We had to demonstrate practice teaching  and I was dreading it. I just couldn’t see, in a new person, what exactly was out of place. Nor did I know how to fix it.