As I teach a clinic this wknd at Toi Trent’s beautiful farm in Aiken, I also get the chance to visit with some old equine friends. As some of you may know, I lost Ehrenpreis, my first GP schoolmaster, and he is buried here at Toi’s. I also still get to enjoy Wjedro’s (Will) company as he is still his silly self! I believe he turns 28 this year. I also visited with Batuque, Toi’s mare, of whom I thanked for bringing Toi & I together in the first place! I think that was at least 10 years ago! 🙂
It’s so rewarding to see the increase of good classical riding, as sometimes one can feel as though we go against the grain a little. One doesn’t have to look very far around at a horse show to see & hear lots of bullying going on. Toi has not only made her farm a beautiful place to be for the wknd, but also has improved & grown into such a great rider & teacher! It’s an honor to be a small part of that.
As I sat by the fence and watched my old Grand Prix partner munch away on some grass, looking at how his body has changed, I realized how the only thing that is constant is change. So often it’s so easy to want things the way they were, but no matter what, the new now is here. We have to remember to make each next moment it’s best, & to strive to be the next best version of ourselves every chance we get. We all get stuck, myself included, holding onto the past, good or bad, and just like in riding & life, we must be present in the now. For what has happened before is only a memory & what will happen next is a mystery, we can only truly control how we are in this exact moment.
I look at Will in the paddock, all happily retired after a wonderful career, & I can’t help but wish I could have him now, when I’m such a better rider & would do him so much more justice. But then I’m washed over with such a feeling of gratitude and love that I wouldn’t be half the rider I am today, if I didn’t have to struggle through everything with him. It has shaped me into who I am. With fondness, I can remember, but with inspiration, I look forward.
So just like in a terrific dressage test, we can’t get stuck thinking of the last movement, nor can we worry about what is coming, we must stay focused on this exact moment, & do the absolute best we can. Things change, the cycle of life keeps going, we must be our best right now. There is no other moment to be waiting for. This is it! Go for it!! 🙂

Read More