Excerpt from an humble “expert”

“I hate writing, I love to have written.”  Dorothy Parker

Writing this blog, originally a writing exercise imposed upon me by my roommate, an avid birder that blogs daily at thebirdhousechick.com, has brought about many unexpected benefits and pleasures to my life.  While it sometimes seems like a chore to sit down and torture myself with self-doubt and criticism just to get three paragraphs completed, once it is finished I feel a sense of relief and am usually inspired for my next topic.

In addition to the cathartic experience of sharing issues that are dear to me I have met so many other bloggers, and many other riders that stumble across the writings and share their comments and insights. Some of them are professional trainers and many of them amateur riders that are passionate about their journey with riding.  Without the global reach of the world-wide web I would never have met these kindred souls that share my love of dressage or horses in general.  The comments and e-mail I receive as a result of my small blog have inspired me and made me feel part of a community in which I have never felt included.

It was a great surprise and admittedly a source of confusion when I received an e-mail from Frances Keller, an organizer from the historic and distinguished Dressage at Devon horse show.  The correspondence was an invitation to attend Devon as an “expert commentator” for the Prix St. George class held in the famous “Dixon Oval”.  My first response was that the e-mail must have been sent to me inadvertently so I replied to Ms. Keller to inquire why I had been included in the group of experts that featured top judges and top competitors from across the United States.  It seems she came across my website and blog while looking for Scott Peterson, a great trainer I have listed on my resume’.  After reading the site Ms. Keller invited me to be a commentator as she felt that some of the listeners may relate to my point of view as a contrast to the great judges they have scheduled to speak.  I am very humbled by the invitation and hope that her instincts prove correct.

Although I am nervous about the prospect of speaking to such a large audience without the time to edit and rewrite that I am afforded by writing a blog,  I am more afraid of “flinching out” on an opportunity to be included in such an esteemed panel at such a dignified event.  So Thursday I board the plane to face my fears and hopefully offer a perspective that remains true to myself and resounds with others.

If any of my fellow blogging friends, or others that follow the blog are going to be in attendance at Devon please let me know so we can finally meet.  I consider you all part of my journey and wouldn’t be included if it weren’t for your kind words and inspiration.

Check out the page of “experts” here.

22 thoughts on “Excerpt from an humble “expert”

  1. Suzanne, I am so excited for you. I know the people at Devon will experience great knowledge from you that I have the pleasure of hearing weekly. Have a great time!

  2. One always has doubts about one’s abilities when considering a monumental undertaking–even knitting an Aran sweater! I am always surprised and elated after I do it! I believe taking on a challenge is how we grow and evolve into better human beings! This is advice from a very old lady–do it!

  3. You will be awesome and everyone will benefit from the wonderful gift (yes, it’s a gift!) you have of explaining difficult concepts in such a way that even the most beginner of riders can understand! You will rock their faces off!! Or maybe their ears… 🙂

  4. Congratulations! What an honor, and you are quite deserving of it, too! DAD is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be attending this year. Too bad, because I’d love to hear your commentary! I hope you do a full write up for your blog, though!

    1. Thank you so much Shannon! I wish you were going to be there, I’d so like to meet you in person! If you ever cross through Atlanta we’ll do lunch- and barn! Will blog about experience- whether I screw up or not!

    1. Oh, please do! I admire how you are able to keep your blog updated and fun!! When I figure out what I will wear I’ll let you know so we can recognize each other- your blog has been very inspirational to me!

  5. Suz,

    I’m so incredibly happy for you to have this opportunity.  I’m equally excited for Devon to experience you. 

    I have known you for almost 20 years and have been fortunate to watch your equestrian career evolve.  I have learned so much through you and from you about this crazy yet beautiful world of divas and demons in the arenas we walk daily.

    You have earned, through blood sweat and tears every single “Nickel” 😉 you have.  You have earned so much more than you’ll ever know by the love of the people and animals lives that you’ve influenced.

    I admire your dedication and determination to stay true to your dreams through every challenge that you encountered. But what I admire most about you is your ability to always find the good in people and help them build on their own strengths, even when they can’t see those strengths…yet.

    So go show Devon that the beauty in dressage lies not only in the dance but in a few humble people like yourself that make this journey all worth while.

  6. Suz,

    I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I cherish all of the years of our friendship and I am so excited for what’s in store with you as my trainer. If only the competitors at Devon knew how lucky they are to have such an amazing person take part in their journey through the horse world. I appreciate all of the support that you have provided for me through the years to help me get to where I am today. As fortunate as I am to have you as my trainer, I am even more lucky to call you a best friend.

    Much love,

    1. Deb- Thank you so much for believing in me. You have always been a loyal friend and I hope you know you can always count on me as a friend. You saw me through from the beginning to the end of the adventure and it made it so much less scary and more fun!! Love you and looking forward to sharing many more adventures!!!

  7. Suzanne,

    I just wanted to write to let you know how much my husband and I enjoyed your commentary at Devon. We were the ones sitting a few rows in front of you during the class. My husband knows next to nothing about dressage, but goes to the big shows with me because I enjoy it so much. As a lower level rider, I have a lot of passion but just a little knowledge for riding at the prix st. george level. It was great for him(and me!) to be able to listen to your very informative comments. You have a great eye and a wonderful way of constructively and “politely” describing the action. Well done!

    1. Dear Shannon,

      Your kind words could not have pleased me more! That was my first time offering commentary and hoped that people would be able to relate. I was quite nervous but once I settled in I loved it! I hope to be invited back next year. Thank you for your words of encouragement, they mean more than you can know! Hope to meet you out and about! – Suzanne

  8. Just found your blog, so this honor has already passed and I am sure went wonderfully! When you wrote being nervous about it, it reminded me of something someone said to me years ago. If you make a change and you don’t feel like you are in over your head-then you are just moving sideways. Or something to that effect.

    1. Hi Ronna!!
      What a lovely name! Thank you so much for checking out the blog! Your analogy is perfect and I will probably steal it for another blog post!! My roommate “thebirdhousechick” read me a note that you sent her and we both loved it and laughed as you sound just like us!! Let me know if you get a blog going and I will keep up with it! Stay in touch- Suzanne

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