Desiree, I have met many ladies and gentlemen who have taught me some aspects of riding, everyone professional in their own right, some with more and some with less passion, but all at a high level.
You all have that in common, but you distinguish yourself in a special way.
With you things are always fun. You always convey a contagious desire for lightness and exuberance that capture both the horse and the rider and soon inserts
itself in their relationship. And all of a sudden riding is much, much more fun and even promising. You beam sunrays up at the rider, even if one does not always get what you mean, or maybe get it but cannot do it, you encourage with patience, find new approaches and comparisons in order to get your ideas acoss.
Other teachers would have lost their rag with me long ago, shouted at me, and I would definitely have told them not to speak to me in such a way.
At first I was an anxious rider, not sure if I was slow or completely untalented, (In my job as a teacher I am always quick and successful. With slowness, now a very interesting experience for me, I can see the students who need more time with different eyes and teach them in a different way) today I couldn´t care less and I take the time I need.
It feels good when you impart „take your time, you will get it!“ You also stick to it then when things don´t work, something which I didn´t expect. I have sometimes thought, oh good heavens let me do something else, but that is never an option for you – go on, you will learn it. And all of a sudden – I just let go and my heels drop down. You were the first who could communicate the the fact that the heels should act like springs in such a way that I could understand it. That was a real aha moment, thank you!
Making mistakes is allowed. You pick your students, crude individuals do not fit in, and the students who are in, are allowed to make mistakes and ask questions. Asking questions and getting answers is normal in a student-teacher relationship, but with you the answers lead to thinking and challenging the system. That is super. You push everyone towards their own freedom. That is challenging, and beautiful. At the same time you lovingly draw attention to the reactions of the horse and I was allowed to experience how my horse forgave me my mistakes. That really moved me to tears. We bring ourselves and our whole life with when we ride and suddenly I am allowed things that has always been taboo. The horse forgives, what a blessing.
It is off course favourable for the learning experience if the student has a consistent creature to be encouraged by. You have always made me observe the reactions of my horse and taught me how to read the accuracy of my aids.
Your Ullises was a super teacher for me. Thanks to him I can now ride Animador with more knowledge. When I have the correct connection with the reins, he is
quiet, and moves along happily. However, when I have too much tension on the inside rein (I never notice it in that precise moment) he shows me immediately and I can react accordingly. This learning to feel yourself, observing the horse, referring back to the rider and then finding the correct sensitive aids for the situation is living
animal welfare and respectful partnership. The most wonderful part for me is that this light and sensitive meeting starts when you first greet your horse. In my eyes I have become a good rider, and I feel this is absolutely fantastic. Thank you for that too. You live that as teacher. You find light words, witty comparisons to express your suggestions. That is also beautiful for me as your student.
I am most notably thankful that you have encouraged me to open my heart, I have been deeply touched by this. I can clearly remember the lesson where you followed your intuition and you asked me to open the zipper and expose my heart. That is very difficult for me and I have to practise it every day. Many different fears sneak around and block my good intentions, but I know them well and can shoo them away. You transmit absolute dependability, confidence and trust when you stand in the arena. Only with you I would have had the courage to open my heart. Nobody but you could have made that happen, as you live that yourself. I am incredibly thankful, for the most beautiful thing of all is love flowing out of one´s heart. This is truly unique and incredibly valuable for me and all who are in mylife.
I have learned through and with Ulisses how encouraging it can be to allow sorrow to flow out of my heart, normal life has love, happiness and sorrow for us, and everything has to flow into each other. You are capable, smart and clever in the way you notice the emotions of the rider, you are strong and brave enough to address and express that. You are confident that this is part of the healing process. I have learned to experience nature with my horse, to have fun and to be free and youthful. Maybe the horses are there to help us with our emotions and dissolve drama? I don´t know yet, I shall think about that some more.
What I know for sure is that you are a blessing for all the horses and riders with your way of teaching riding, with your absolute knowledge and special heart. It would be of benefit to all if you would put your knowledge on paper and have all and sunder profit from your rich experience.
Meeting you was crucially formative in my life, and I thank you for the enormous distance you have to travel to come and share your experience and knowledge with us.
It is absolutely heavenly to have you around!