I thought it was about time I posted about my instructor. She's by far the best I've ever had, and I owe everything to her. She's been an inspiration to me since day one, when my old instructor walked out, claiming that my Dad's new horse was unrideable and he should sell it. She owned the yard that we were on at the time, and got straight on to the horse, and spent the next year doing all she could to make something of him. Since then she's been amazing. She's helped me so much with my riding, and has taught me to fall off, laugh and get back on again (something which should never be underestimated!). She's so laid back, never panics or shouts if I get it wrong, just laughs and makes sure I know how to do it right next time.
Onto the madness =) After seeing my fear of spreads come into play, she started working on it with me in our next lesson. Last week, after we'd just about cracked jumping little oxers, she put up a double in the school. By the end of the lesson, she had it up to about 3' (with the second element as a spread) and had me jumping down it with hands on my head, out to the side, holding my whip out in front of me like a tap dancing cane and even doing the YMCA at one point (much to the amusement of my friend watching me). And even more amazing, by the end I was laughing so hard going over the fences (which I thought were terrifying at the beginning) laughing so hard that I could only just keep my position straight! Genius!
I've found that instructors like her are like gold dust, and she has that rare gift of being able to push me to improve, but also to enjoy it at the same time =)