A HOLIDAY SEASON NOTE:
In this season of sharing, I thought what could be better to sum up the friendships built around APAHA teachers than this video below!
“At the spring symposium, I had asked Bernard to play so that I could ride the young Errol on the Saturday before his performance with ETHEL this because Errol, being privately-owned, had no experience in front of a crowd nor with speakers or lights. He is also a stoic guarded gentleman who internalizes stress,as does his owner.
When I asked to borrow him in return for putting him to the double bridle, it was with the thought of bringing him out of his shell. Bernard began to play to him and with a masterful eye reacted to my cautious adjustments to bring the horse out. I could hear the tone of his playing morph so I could adjust to it and, in doing so ,teach the horse what the flow of music is about through his body. As Bernard improvised around Errol and I around the music, an internal synergy spontaneously wove between us that really was magical.
The horse began to lift in cadence and become bolder in his conviction in how he was carrying me, as well as how the music was carrying him. He realized why this was a moment to hear very clearly and listen very carefully.
The beautiful tact of Bernard’s touch on the piano echoed the tact I was trying to convey through my aids. The horse in turn began to let his movement touch that sensitivity. When we ended, it was because I felt a peak in his receptivity and that this transformation was complete and had prepared his way.
The next day, we saw the result in the middle of Ethel’s second piece when Errol pricked his ears and danced lightly, changing his whole personality through affirming physically the place of music within him.
The osmosis between my fellow musician/rider and I just opened a quiet conduit where all things became possible and evident and all decisions were immediate but flowing.
Bernard and I had spoken of this moment likening it to the same feeling depicted in the movie the last samurai. That music in its flow between us brought us out of the shell of our bodies as well as the horse. The intensity of the whole ride had lightness through that careful communication and clear line of exchange.
We all cared to be there for one another and open ourselves to the gift of that sharing. Please enjoy this video as our Christmas gift! May it bring you the peace, warmth and completeness that it did to us.”
Bettina, Errol and Bernard