Mary Wanless. Have you heard of her? Do you know her books? I didn't either until about a year ago when a reader of this blog tuned me into her. And I will be forever grateful.
In November, I audited a clinic with Mary - read my blog post here - and I was stunned. In a turn of fate, with Katchi off the horse trial circuit for the moment, I had the tremendous good fortune to ride with Mary for three days this past weekend at Great Strides in Damascus, MD. But, I'm sort of at a loss for words to describe the clinic. Was it amazing? Oh yes. Was it shocking? Oh yes. Was it exhausting? wait, what, I think I nodded off for a moment. I actually think I'm a bit on sensory overload. In the course of three days, I've felt it all:
Anticipation of a miracle.
Surprise at what I can't feel.
Pride at what I can feel.
Awkward in my reshaped body.
Grateful for the patience of those with wisdom.
Determined to make a change.
Pain in places I didn't know could hurt.
Confusion over what I might feel or don't think I can feel or ... can't someone just tell me the right answer?!
Elation. Has a horse ever felt so amazing? Now I know I've felt a glimmer of the centaur Denny Emerson says we should strive to become.
But how do I explain the magic of Mary? I don't think I can. It was that special. No two people will ever have the same lesson with Mary. It's not only about individual corrections and needs, it's also about the individual mind. How I understand and perceive something may be entirely different from the way you understand and perceive what presumably is the exact same thing. And Mary gets this. Katchi and I (mostly I) have loads of homework to do, but if I can keep it together, we may well have some seriously stunning dressage scores in our future! So, go buy a Mary Wanless book, seek her out on you tube - it won't be easy, it may even hurt, but if you want to be a centaur, she will change everything for you.