We are lucky in the Southeastern region to have a lot of top riders and instructors available to us. There is no shortage of skill and knowledge. I’ve ridden with many. For me, what sets Sarah apart is that she not only conveys her extensive knowledge exceptionally well to her students, but she does it passionately. She really wants you to understand and do well so you can practice on your own and see improvement… said in another way, she’s totally invested in her riders and the horses. I can’t begin to say how wonderful that is…. To have your instructor not just care that you are reaching your goals but be totally excited that you are reaching your goals. It makes the journey so much more fun!
Sarah also looks at the rider/horse combination holistically by incorporating other therapies and sources the top specialists to help you and your horse overcome challenges. She’s constantly learning herself and this is something I find absolutely inspiring and exciting. Whether it be sports psychology or coaching or biomechanics for horse and rider, she is always gaining more knowledge to help her riders and the horses. All of this is incorporated into her teaching. Ultimately all of this is because she is dedicated to respecting the equine athlete by good, consistent riding. Personally, she’s sorted out some decades old rider issues I’ve had because she pinpointed the exact problem when no one else had. So instead of just being told “Stop doing ‘x’”, she says, “it may appear like you are doing xyz, but the source of the problem is here and if you do ‘x’ it stops the whole problem”. And because of Sarah’s knowledge about how people learn, she’s very understanding that sometimes these things take time. So she repeats and repeats but doesn’t freak out because it happened AGAIN.
From a student perspective, I find riding with Sarah really great fun because I’m regularly seeing progress with myself and my horse. She doesn’t just say, “You blocked your horse” as you shoulder in down the long side; she tells you exactly how you blocked your horse and how to correct it. So when I practice on my own, I know how to do my homework. I’m never scratching my head trying to figure out how in the world we got to that great point in our last lesson. So not only have I progressed but I feel motivated to do more. I’m excited for every ride and my horse is enjoying the fact that I’m riding much better. Personally, I feel extremely grateful to be riding with Sarah. I know my horse is grateful, too!