When I started taking lessons from Karen, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had actually stopped taking lessons because while I knew I had areas of improvement, and felt a little desperate in wanting to improve, I hadn’t found anyone locally who could help me. I would go and say, “I feel like my hands are too busy. I want to learn to really ride more from my seat. I wasn’t a bad rider; in fact, I was pretty good. But that was the problem. The instructor would watch me ride, and say, “You look fine.” No! I don’t! Help me! I was stuck at a plateau and I didn’t know how to move forward.
So, I had a lesson with Karen on my out of shape mare in a foot of snow. I had a new baby, and could only ride in my pasture for limited amounts of time. I told Karen I wanted exercises I could do at the walk (thanks to all the snow). And that I wanted to break through this plateau I was on. Well, my lesson was amazing. It didn’t matter that we weren’t in a perfectly groomed arena. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I left that lesson with real tools and exercises. Thanks to Karen’s thoughtful explanations I also understood mechanically what I was aiming for, as well as the philosophical “why”. And my mare loved it! It was amazing to see her attitude shift to be so willing and present. The exercises we did challenged her physically and mentally in a good way; we became more of a team. (They challenged me, too).
Karen is not about quick fixes. But she does things right; like the tortoise that wins the race. Karen really got what I was trying to ask for: to learn to ride with real connection, and through-ness. She challenged me, and my horse. Karen is also unfailingly kind, and I love her attitude. She manages to impart her wisdom in a way that inspires you and is never condescending. I cannot recommend Karen highly enough. Anyone who is lucky enough to take a lesson with Karen should jump at the opportunity.