Now, Now, Now
By Susan Derr Drake
From letter to letter
coaching to ride better.
Decades of knowledge felt,
life’s challenging hands dealt.
Around the world, traveled,
old secrets unraveled.
Always there, in my head,
valued words, he has said.
Step by step, plans well laid,
students learn, timing of aids.
Always ride, sets of three,
wise thoughts, from him to me.
Feel the horse, look around,
knowing, which hoof is down.
Thoughtful and subtle aids,
ridden now, Mikolka ways.
At the trot, stepping light;
left, left…both, both…right, right.
First, second, then third test,
of horse’s leg, trains best.
Belly swing, side to side,
En-large, makes circle wide.
Lead, more, most… outside rein,
on the bit, we will train.
Outside hind to slow down,
only his, so renown
Inside rein… bend, more, most,
then same hind… drive, more, most.
Corner near, this said he,
inside hind… Turn, two, three.
Sweet Mikolka banter;
En-large, en-gage, can-ter.
Precise use, piaffe whip
Like quick draw, from the hip.
Rider’s mind must work faster,
inspired from, Riding Master.
Two bits now, loaded fun,
whip straight up, three in one.
Ride Grand Prix or the Aires,
sitting deep, if you dare.
Now, now now…right to halt.
Balanced square, with out fault.
Dressage, the hardest art,
ridden from, mind and heart.
Karl’s comments, so astute,
me to him… I Salute.
Lift your glass, let’s all toast,
Now, Now, Now… Ride, More, Most.
Susan Derr Drake
“I rode many horses with Karl Mikolka (14 years Bereiter at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria) from 1979 to 2001
in Fresno, Moorpark, San Marcos, San Diego and hosted many clinics in Riverside, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, California.
I remember having the reins three in one, with the whip straight up and a mouth full of ‘now, now, nows’ for each bit and each of the four legs, layered with complicated developing patterns to peak at the most brilliant Piaffe with the help of his gentle and perfectly timed, touch of the whip. The joy and challenge of keeping up with him and occasionally seeing where he was going next, while I was speaking the present, and at the same time, he was talking the next request, was the highlight of my riding career. That connection between us all with deep understanding of the horse, it’s movement, it’s mind and it’s motion created an energy field so unique and void of ego or competition, but full of joy, love and experience, glimpsed at a way of riding, a way of living, that we all are seeking.
After showing 116 Grand Prixs, thanks to his timing of aids and genius of training patterns, I can truly say that Karl Mikolka is the greatest and my favorite coach. His words are with me every ride to this day, literally step by step. I am so grateful to have had a touch of his wisdom and insight while continually yearning for more. Karl Mikolka, a man ahead of his time, planted the seeds to the future while holding the wisdoms of the past. Karl, with the greatest respect, I thank you from my heart for the experience in this life’s journey.” Susan
My gratitude to many of my other teachers as well:
Charles De Kunffy- 14 years
Melle Van Bruggen-4 years USET coach
Arthur Kottas-USET Asimus Scholarship to train 6 weeks in Vienna, Austria
Jean Luc Cornelle
Inez Profe Credo
Dr. Christian Stamphel
Dr. Gerd Heuschmann
Egon von Neindorf
Kalman De Jurenak
Col. Victor von Alenitch-von H
Pam Meyer-Shaman, Animal Communicator,Gemstone healer
Jerri Ryan- Animal Communicator
Dr. Paul Schaffer- Chiropractor
Dr. Regan Golob-Healer extraordinaire
Judy Sinner-Equine Nutritionist
Gabriella Valsechhi-Animal Therapist
Linda Tellington Jones-TTouch
Sheryl Benson-Reiki Master
Ayn Cates-Color Healer and Channelor
Steve Anderson-Healing Touch Certification
Cindy Rackley-Reiki Maser
Anna Twinney-Natural Horsemanship
Dr. Deb Bennet-Anatomy Dissection from skin to bone
Dr. Hilary Clayton-Gait Analysis
Abraham-Hicks-Law of Attraction-Positive Thinking
and many, many, many more observed since 1965
as well as all of my horses and my students and my student's horses.
Thank you to all! Susan