Dr. Jenny R. Susser's notes on the "Riding With Confidence" / CDA Clinic @ Fox Ledge Farm~6/1+2/2013
“This is not your usual dressage clinic…people's lives change.” I said this to the clinic organizer as we were discussing logistics and such. There is always the pregnant pause that follows this statement but that doesn't bother me. At dinner Saturday night, she says to me, “When you told me this was life changing, I thought, great, more touchy-feely-hoo-hoo. But I'll tell ya, you weren't kidding!”
I never know how to describe my clinic to people who haven't been to one. I suspect this makes me sound boastful or something, but I say this in about as much humble honesty as I can. Because, you see, I am always blown away by the power of these weekends and how extraordinary people are. This past weekend at Fox Ledge Farm in the clinic sponsored by the Connecticut Dressage Association, we had an amazing two days. I am truly grateful to Donna Leonessa for all her hours of work, organization, and support of something she had no idea of! And Ann Guptil graciously donated the use of her farm so we could have a wonderful environment to safely play in.
I had a mentor once who told me she always looked for the gold in people. She said people stopped her no matter where she was to ask her things; like in the grocery store, people would ask her if she worked there even though she was wearing a dress. They would just want to talk with her, be in her energy. I loved that and took that on…to look for the gold in people. Sometimes it is harder than others and I don't always succeed, but trying sure changes perspective and energy. This is the platform I use in my clinics. I push people to connect with the gold that I see that is usually hidden from their own view of themselves. Surprisingly, there is always a fight to this. Why we don't want to be connected to that part of ourselves constantly confuses me, but I just keep redirecting until a connection is made…because once you've touched it, you own it. Then, you can control how much (or how little) you get to traffic in that gold.
Horses are what makes this indescribably special. The partnerships, or potential partnerships, that I see sometimes move me to tears. Each and every combination there had something special to it. The generosity of the horse is unmatched in any other being on the planet, in my opinion. And this is why many people suffer through fear and anxiety and STILL get on each day. Just being around horses does something to a human. There was a woman this weekend who was a little scared on her horse. They have been together for 11 years and he is a “mature” guy (in his twenties–although you would never know it by how great he looks and how sound he is!). We worked to shift her perspective of him and how they “go”. Something so simple yet so profound. On Sunday, I look over and they are cantering all over the ring in this harmonious flow. She is grinning and, if I may anthropomorphize, so was he. I hear an auditor say, “See, this is what life is about.”