Monday, August 26, 2013


Dear BNT Clinician,

You've taken quite a few hits in the press for your views on "unprepared" lower level riders.   And yes, George Morris, is a BNT whose meticulous preparation, attention to detail and cutting remarks are well known in the hunter world.  And, it must be hard to teach middle-aged wannabees that work full time and ride seriously... for "pleasure". 

Yet, it takes a special person to do a special thing for special riders in a place of unknown worth.  I watched you this weekend at our Hunt Club's "Intro to Cross Country Riding" clinic and was absolutely wowed as you revealed the gifts of your experience.

They came to you with hope from all sorts of backrounds, riding an assortment of horses and, you welcomed them all! 

That first group of riders were enthusiastic and green.  I couldn't help but notice that one of the riders was tense... well, actually a little shaky.  Her eyes revealed a look I know all too well...  I could hear her brain screaming, "Why did I sign up for this?"  When asked about her nerves, she told me that this was the first clinic she's ever done and was worried that the BNT would think her unworthy, that she didn't belong or worse, would humiliate her middle-aged efforts to jump.  {{{Oh my, I guess I'm not alone!}}}

But you didn't do that...  you said to her, "We all go to clinics to learn new things and not to do what we've already done."   Your confidence in her unknown ability soothed her and she smiled, then later accomplished far more than she thought was possible.

At one point, you turned to me and said, "I will run late.  I can not rush and I will do what each needs to have done...  Let the next group know!"

Your patience is amazing.  When the Hunter/Jumper rider lost herself in her fear of XC jumps and left the group in tears, you welcomed her back during a short break and gave her a private lesson until she too left with a smile on her face and joy in her heart.

Cosmos = Happy!
Good Clinic = Happier!
Ah, that last group - the experienced group?  We all sat mesmerized at how you pulled them all together and used every bit of space and every jump available and gave them a KICKA** lesson!  And as the photographer (and co organizer), I get to look at those pictures and say...  OMG, did they really do that?

So BNT, you give all BNTs a good name.  You donated your time to our fundraiser and you gave each willing rider a 3*** experience.    And you did it with kindness, with gentle humor and just enough challenge that made each and everyone feel like a rock star.

You, BNT, are worth your weight in gold!  And we thank you!


Kelly said...

So refreshing to read that wonderful BNTer's are out there!

Kat said...

Love this! Glad there's BNTs willing to really help.

Amanda said...

Wonderful! I have yet to ever ride in a clinic with any kind of BNT for the exact reasons you expressed.

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Loved reading this, good teachers, whether they are BNTs or not, are worth their weight in gold.