creativity - relaxation - motivation
Riding a dressage test can be a stressful experience to say the least. The stories we tell ourselves before making an entrance at A can be mildly concerned to downright panic-stricken: "Will I remember everything?" "What if he doesn't pick up that left lead?" "I am so nervous. I hope we just survive!"
Erin created Storytesting to combat those pre-test nerves and promote the kind of relaxed, harmonious, joyful performance that makes the dressage show experience a successful endeavor. Using a mix of theater-based character-building exercises, the latest in neuroscience research, and the aims of each test in the levels, she guides riders through the process of creating a unique, resonant story for their test, giving each movement purpose and motivation while always seeking to reveal its ultimate essence.
As they "tell" their character's story through the test tension drops away, nervousness vanishes, and riders find themselves inspiring greater expression in their horses. For people who have difficulty memorizing a test, Storytesting is ideal in helping riders see the test as a memorable, purposeful event with a beginning, middle, and end, rather than a collection of actions. Each story is built uniquely with an eye towards the rider's preferences, horse's abilities, with effectiveness in mind.
Because it's a fun experience for the rider, the horse, and spectators alike, Storytesting is ideally suited for the clinic format. Erin also offers Storytesting haul-in sessions at Fermata Farm in Newberg, and she travels for in-barn private sessions.