I was fortunate enough to find myself living in the USA for a few years from the beginning of 2000. Between you and me, I didn't move there 'with bells on' as they say - more of the kicking and screaming type of relocation. It's hard to convince someone that is riding 6-8 hours a day and playing polo 2-4 times a week, that moving away from Singapore and ponies and mates, is a good idea.
So the compromise ended up being that I would find a trainer to work with and try to sort out this 'better way' I'd been searching for. As far as I could see, I was successful by all extrinsic measures - I was winning tons of ribbons, competing in dressage in Singapore and Malaysia, show jumping and playing polo but intrinsically, I knew something was wrong, or at least could be better.
During my final Rolex International Dressage Competition, having won the Freestyle, I noted on the judge's comments that "horse looks wonderful on the outside but I fear ready to explode on the inside". The proverbial nail and head coming together!
I KNEW that if I could get my horse to relax we would both enjoy it so much more. If my horse was relaxed and engaged we'd do even better and, more importantly, it would be so much better for the horse.
I needed something that made sense, something I could test and challenge, something ethical, kind and gentle - I boarded a plane for New York and my search began.
Have you ever felt anything like this? Leave me a comment in the area below.