Thank you to our own Austin Eventer, Michelle, for her thoughts!
Fifteen years ago I was jumping. I took lessons from a German trainer and I went to shows. I would spend all at shows watching the jumper rounds. After three years of this, I came to the conclusion that jumping just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t see my distances and I fell off pretty regularly. I felt like I just couldn’t do it (and I am not the kind of person to say “I can’t”). So, I became a Dressage Queen. I bought the Pikeur coat, took countless dressage lessons, and told myself I was happy watching others jump their horses.
All of that began to change when Lisa Bauman and her Austin Eventing riders showed up at the quiet dressage barn where I rode. First, I watched “secretly” from afar. I watched them have fun, take lessons, bring in clinicians, and most of all: JUMP. After talking with Lisa and getting to know her a little, I got a little closer and watched her give a group lesson. I was hooked. I loved that Lisa had an easygoing, approachable style while still being firm about safety and suitability for both rider and horse. I signed up to join Lisa and the gang on the “dark side,” as she likes to say.
During the first few jumping lessons, I was nervous that I had serious cottonmouth.
Fast-forward a few months and off we went to my first cross country schooling. Although we were just schooling, I still had cottonmouth but I also had a blast. I was scared but I was confident in couple of key things: I trust Lisa and I trust my horse, Valdon. I’m not sure I can put into words how exactly Lisa gave me the confidence to take Valdon “outside the arena,” but she did! And we jumped! In the open!
After that successful first outing, I signed up to ride in a derby! Before riding with Lisa, I would have never signed up; and, I wouldn’t even think about going without her (and the other Austin Eventers for support). Lisa’s calm confidence will help to remind me that the jumps are small and my horse can do it!
Thank you, Lisa, for helping me enjoy my horse and jump again!!