Those of us who live in Florida are incredibly lucky to have access to lessons with the best of the best of the best. Until now, I haven't really taken advantage of their proximity for a number of reasons. I suck as a rider. No money. Not a great horse. No money. Still suck a rider. No money. Great horse. No money. Still not a great rider. I am sure you are getting the picture.........
Lauren finally convinced me that I should take a lesson with Debbie Stephens. (In case you don't know, Debbie has ridden on Nations Cup Teams, Pan Am Games, etc.). Lauren got a lot out of Debbie's lessons on Maven, her 2* horse. Debbie is close to us (45 minutes). Debbie is also back in town, from 4 months of showing up and down the East coast. As I have a fantastic red pony mare in the barn, I finally agreed with Lauren and figured I could at least try.
My biggest concern is my wonderful ability to panic in a stressful situation. This can happen when I ride for any dressage judge I know (IE going off course with Bill Woods judging). I also apparently love to get the "deer in the headlights" look when approaching jumps I am unsure of, like drops into water. Lauren said I'd be fine, but I am known for over-thinking riding, getting embarrased and then turning off my brain. Not really a great set up for a lesson with Debbie. Lauren was optimistic; I'm not sure why as she was present for the full blown panic I had prior to my first Novice). I think Lauren forgets the bad things easily.....or at least on purpose.
I did manage to stay on, even when we almost fell in the rain. I also managed to get yelled at, for forgetting where I was going. Debbie asked me why I rode to the fence like I was day-dreaming about something else (I am sure that was my deer in the headlights look). I did finally get it all together, however. Farrah was amazing, and Debbie said I shouldn't let Karen O'Connor see her. I knew Farrah was scopey, but not THAT scopey. Debbie said Farrah is a freak of nature. THAT I already knew!
Lots of fun and we'll have to try it again....I'm thinking a cocktail ahead of time might be a good idea for me!