Serendipity Stables and Riding School
we recognize that the only way to grow as horsemen
is to challenge ourselves.
For me as an instructor
I am always looking for ways
to help my students get more
out of their riding.
We have an Open Barn each spring with demonstrations to show family and friends,
each other and ourselves what we've learned.
(That also satisfies the need to dress fancy,
and lets us experience performance anxiety butterflies
without paying a lot of money for the opportunity.)
I build jumps and obstacles and arena exercises,
and put together clinics and small competitions at the barn
with a tight focus to help us improve.
We haul out to neighboring barns for schooling days,
for cross country or jumping or just to get out
and see if our horses will do as well away from home as they do in familiar surroundings.
But at the end of the day it's the relationship with the horse that matters.
It's whether we've accomplished something we set out to do,
not someone else's opinion of us that really means something.
For this reason, we very seldom show,
so for those looking for a show barn, Serendipity is not the place.
This does not mean we don't have goals, or that we don't push ourselves to be better than the rest.
It means that our yardstick is different,
that we measure our progress not by holding ourselves up to anyone else,
but by comparing ourselves to perfection.
It can be difficult to measure progress
without some kind of a yardstick.
And it is great fun to get all dressed up
and go see how we stack up against the competition.
When we show, we always comport ourselves very well.
And so we'll continue to find ways to test ourselves and to test our horses
for at the heart of Serendipity lies the desire for improvement,
for bettering the quality of our rides, our interactions with our horses
and our lives with them.
And most of all, we want to enjoy what we're doing.
If we're not smiling, what's the point?
That means pushing myself too,
so that as I learn, I have more to teach.
I never stop learning,
and I never stop teaching.
(even when the students really, really wish I would!)
The people of Serendipity are horsemen first, and riders second.
We love to ride, and we realize that good rides come from great horses,
and there is much more to a great horse than public accomplishments.
So we learn to recognize good natural movement,
and we strive to recreate that under saddle.
We see temperament and personality
and realize that if it changes under saddle,
that's on us and we need to do better.
We understand that if we want to jump higher or run faster,
we have an obligation to
strengthen hindquarters and supple shoulders.
We have to trust the horse, and he has to trust us.
With great power comes great responsiblity,
and if we want the horse to put his feet where we say,
he has to know that we will always be thereto tell him where to put his feet -
or we'll teach him how to know where to put his own feet
so that we don't hit his mouth or drop onto his back.
If we want him to depend on us he has to be able to count on us,
and everything we do as riders is about building that relationship.
And we have parties to enjoy being with people with common interests,
we decorate our horses according to the holiday,
and we create opportunities for great pictures.
That means critiquing each other,
and taking lots of pictures to review
whether what we see and what we feel is the same,
never being afraid to ask questions or to try something new.