Comments from students:
From a USDF Regional Dressage Championship winner, Dressage and Eventing Trainer:"...Getting involved with Mary Wanless and, more importantly, Sandy Howard has completely changed my life. I am so excited about all I have learned and feel like such a more knowledgeable and skilled trainer than I ever was before. I often wonder WHAT I ever used to say to my students? Now I wonder which thing I will work on with my student and can I possibly keep it simple enough for them to not feel overwhelmed! My riding has improved immensely as well. I can't wait until the next time I get to work with Sandy so I can receive yet another piece of the amazing dressage puzzle. I feel blessed to be a part of the quest to know more. I am completely engulfed in the process and absolutely LOVE my job as a horse trainer/instructor. Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou!!!!!!!!"
From a rider in Georgia:"Anne empowered my mid-50s self to find the best position for communicating with my horse... strange as the Wanless seat felt to me at first, once she coached me into finding it, I was immediately 100% more effective with less effort !! And I could tell that my mare was happy and responding eagerly to my aids!From a junior rider away at college:
I watched Anne work miracles with other riders in our clinic, ranging in ability/experience from training to 2nd level....in fact, every horse/rider combo looked better at the end of the day! So it wasn't my sole success...but rather a concept that is confirmed, rider after rider! And not all of us had dressage backgrounds, either... Anne was equally comfortable and successful working with h/j and event riders.
The Wanless seat doesn't come automatically, so Anne gives routines, both in the saddle and groundwork, to reinforce maintaining/recapturing the Wanless position and provides checkpoints for self-evaluation. In addition, I found that my horse gave me great feedback herself... !""Trying to make up for my regrettable lack of horse time, I've been doing quite a bit of dancing and martial arts (tango and taijutsu, respectively) in both cases I've found that using bear down, pushing my lower back out, and any number of other riding techniques of balance, strength, and body control have come in extremely helpful...From a Northern CA clinic participant:
"My time at Sporthorse was way too much fun. I came out of it with a number of friends I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life, and a great sense of body awareness, body use, and understanding of all sorts of animals, not just horses. Anyone who thinks dressage is just a prissy sport prancing around on cute horses has never seen a real dressage teacher (like Sandy!) teach. Just watching a good teacher teach dressage, you begin to realize that on the
ground, they're doing everything the student is really
supposed to be doing the horse. The elements of posture, control, and bear down are all the same.""Thank you for a very informative clinic this weekend at Stacy Sutton's place. It is really a thrill for me to be able to understand in my body some of what I have been reading from Mary Wanless for so long. It meant a great deal to me to have this learning experience, as I have been in a rather discouraged place lately. After viewing the videotape at home, I can see not only what we changed, but very clearly what still needs to be changed; I also feel I know a great deal more about how to do this. I only wish I lived closer to you and was able to take lessons more frequently.From a Southern CA clinic attendee:
"Thanks, the stick worked wonders today. The changes I made to "go" and "whoa" are working! I am getting my seat bones some of the time, and holding my upper body better. The horse is going forward now!""My last session with Anne was wonderful. A simple and basic thing, but something no one else had taught me before about how to teach the horse to seek the bit, and it WORKS! I'm so excited!"Another Northern CA clinic attendee:"My daughter participated in your "Body Awareness" clinic...This was a great clinic in which she obtained a lot of
valuable information. In fact, the week following the clinic, she competed in our Region III Championship (Arab Circuit) show in the Dressage-Training Level JTR class and won the championship. Information that she learned from
your clinic helped out with her riding skills. I like your style of communicating information to the riders."