Me and horses, one word
I was always a jumper, so dressage was mysterious and intimidating to me. Now I have blue ribbons from second level, we're schooling third, and I am working on my USDF bronze medal.
Learn from my mistake
Be careful mounting bareback! Around age 11, I attended a summer camp where every morning, we'd ride in a truck bed over to a five acre pasture where the horses spent the night, and bareback them back to the barn. There were no mounting blocks, so we all got on from the ground. My pony was quite tall, and I was always the one everyone had to wait for. So one morning I put the pony halfway down a steep hill, left her there, climbed up the hill, ran toward her, jumped off – and landed on my head on the other side. Do I even have to mention that all the other campers were waiting, watching this?
Yoga and Eastern philosophy. I live in Encinitas, so there's a yoga studio on every corner. It never ceases to amaze me how well the skills of yoga apply to riding and horsemanship.
Worst ride ever
I went the wrong way in a jumper show at age thirteen, in front of a huge crowd. The course couldn't have been simpler: straight line, across diagonal, across diagonal, straight line but I was so certain my horse would refuse jump number three (a huge oxer with heaps of greenery underneath) that I didn't bother to memorize the rest of the course. I started to suspect that something was wrong when I jumped a triple bar backwards.
I grew up in Sweden, with all the traditions of English/European horsemanship. Then I moved to California, rode quarter horses in Western saddles in the Rockies and got into the yoga scene. When I teach, I like to blend together European traditions with all the things I love about California. It's European-Californian fusion!
If I weren't an instructor
I'd be a writer. I love words, and the craft of putting them together to create sentences.