In the last decade, I’ve embraced the educational approach of having one coach. Too many voices in my head aren’t good for me or for my riding; it seemed to muddy the waters. Over the last nine years, I’ve dabbled in the occasional clinic with phenomenal people—USEF and USDF training sessions with the team coaches or other very accomplished names, and the Masterclass with Isabell Werth this winter—but all with my coach at my side to frame the new perspective into context and to help translate into a system with which I’m familiar.

Late this summer, I lost that coach. In August, Michael Barisone, who’s been my trainer, my mentor, my family and my friend for nine years, was charged with shooting a woman at his farm. The details of the crime will be tried in a court of law, and since I wasn’t there, and I’m not a lawyer, that’s the beginning and end of my role in this tale.

But I’m a professional rider with lofty goals, and that means I had to find a new trainer. It’s been awkward and difficult and horribly sad. After going through the stages of grieving, I looked at my string of magnificent horses, all too precious to have their ascendence to High Performance Sport sent askew by my sadness. And so I started the process of forging new coaching partnerships.

Read the rest at The Chronicle of the Horse!