Nancy Turner: Riding Instructor This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

For six years I’ve been riding at Knollwood Farm in Delefield. I’ve bounced from instructor to instructor at that barn and have learned a lot from each of them. Some have taught me more than others and some seemed content to let me ride around the ring without any sort of constructive criticism. But none of those instructors have helped me more than The American Saddlebred Association of Wisconsin’s 2007 Horse Person of the year: Nancy Turner.

Perhaps one of the first things one might notice upon walking into one of my lessons with Nancy is her voice. It’s a rare moment when Nancy isn’t giving some sort of vocal instruction. If my corners are getting sloppy or my entire seat is just off, she isn’t afraid to let me know and tell me to fix it. If Nancy knows I have to do one or five circles around the center of the ring in order to get it right, I’d better do those circles.
Not only has Nancy taught me better riding skills, but she’s also helped me be able to laugh at myself. To someone who has never met Nancy, she might seem a bit mean. But when you get to know her, you realize you need to relax. It’s never fun when someone can’t take a look at themself and laugh, and Nancy seems to know that.

If there was one word I had to choose to describe Nancy, it would be committed. It doesn’t matter if she’s teaching a lesson or looking after one of the horses at the barn, she makes sure her students and horses are the best that they can be. If she doesn’t believe you have the passion or commitment for riding, she’s not afraid to let you know. If she sees you aren’t relaxed in the saddle, she’ll be the first to tell you to loosen up. When you start to take yourself too seriously, she’ll keep your ego in check.

At first glance, Nancy isn’t the type of person one might consider to be the Educator of the Year. I assure you, though, Nancy Turner is one in a million in the equestrian world. She’s knowledgeable, witty, and committed. For these reasons, I strongly believe Nancy Turner should be considered the Educator of the Year.





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