Jun 18, 2012

My Learning Curve Goes Vertical

‘That’s great! Hoorah! But we don’t care! We want to read about Bryan! And what happened to Dixie?’

I know, I know. And I want to write about them all. But there is a context that must be framed before I write about specific horses any more. And here is the last corner of the frame. I promise. It might take me a couple of posts to write about it but bear with me.

I wrote before how I look back at my life sometimes and think what the heck. It does seem a little strange that these ‘coincidences’ just seemed to follow, one after the other, through the years. But rather than pursue that perhaps interesting but ultimately irrelevant metaphysical road, suffice to say that there was one more gigantic confluence of fate that put me irretrievably on the horse path that I had been placed on.

In 1994 we moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina. We bought an old barn and started a nice little teaching/training business. In time I met Barbara Stender, a dressage rider, trainer, and judge and we became good friends. Barbara is a wonderful mix of credibility, with a lifetime of USDF involvement and judging and education, and woowoo, with the highest TTouch and Centered Riding ratings that you could achieve. She is smart and funny and a super solid horse girl.

In the course of our friendship she frequently talked about this Mary person. This Mary person had developed a type of equine body work based on Feldenkrais principles. Just like Linda. Every year, Barbara traveled to Calilfornia where Mary lived and practiced, to learn more about Mary’s approach. In fact, Barbara had been Mary’s very first instructor, all those years ago when Mary was a little girl. They went way back.

But I was working with Maryann Olsen, a massage therapist trained by Joanne Wilson herself.  My horses loved her and I could always measure their improvement after one of her visits. I was still doing the LTJ stuff but you know me, Miss It’s Best When It Can Be Measured, and having a Jack Meagher/Joanne Wilson trained protogee come to my house was great. I had my labyrinth and my Wand/Whip and incorporated lots of Tellington-Jones ground work in to my day to day. My various rejects and rehabs and clients were doing great. We were winning at the shows.  I was happy and satisfied with what I was doing and the results we were having were solid and cool and measurable. So I didn’t listen all that closely when Barbara talked about Mary’s work