Oscar and I lived somewhere in Leafyshire for ten years before moving to Norfolk. He was five, I was forty and we had great fun through our local riding club in all the activities, except Dressage. Despite weekly lessons and the occasional clinic we were never placed, although I think Oscar is secretly proud of the day he scored 36%!!
Then we moved to South Norfolk and had a 'taster' lesson with Pippa organised by the local riding club. I'll never forget her bracing tone telling me to get him together as he was like a wiggly brown maggot! It was a perfect description (sorry, Oscar) and we were 'hooked', if you'll excuse the pun!!
So Pippa took on the challenge of making a rider out of me, and a dressage horse out of my chunky boy with his huge, thick neck and stumpy legs. In the weeks and months that followed, Pippa worked with us and we made more progress in ten months than we had in ten years. We saw our test scores rise consistently and in 2008 were the Harmony Dressage League Preliminary Champions. It was beyond our dreams and none of this would have been possible without Pippa.
I enjoy her teaching because she knows when to be tough and challenge you (no pain, no gain!!) and when you need encouragement and support. As a visual learner, I find her examples really helpful ("Imagine two little hands on the back of your elbows"). Our lesson is the highlight of the week whether we work on basics like position or have a little go at something more advanced. When we stop and recollect, we see how far we have come - there have been some really special moments, like discovering that you have begun to learn feel - but Pippa won't have you looking back for long: she'll have your focus onwards towards the next step or goal!
Pippa, you asked for a couple of lines for your website from Oscar and me, but how can we say in two lines what you've done for us. That's even harder than earning one of your 'excellent's! You've given us confidence, hope, belief in ourselves and made us into a team. Some things are too precious for words. Thank you.