For nationally and internationally acclaimed dressage competitor, horse trainer, and my guest today Melissa Jackson, the quote applies to both building a relationship with a horse partner and parenting kids.
On today’s podcast, I talk with Jackson about a variety of topics including:
The crossover between training horses and coaching kids
What her career as a professional athlete taught her kids about flexibility, understanding, and sacrifice
Processing her younger daughter’s decision to end her basketball career after high school
Learning how to play a parenting role rather than a coaching role, and communicating with her daughters after basketball games
The biggest challenge for sports parents today (it starts with a B)
I’ve been honored to know Melissa Jackson, my guest today, for more than 20 years, both as my own daughter’s dressage coach and as a friend.
What is dressage?
It’s an artistic and competitive style of horseback riding that requires intense skill and dedication to master. Jackson has undoubtedly achieved that mastery.
Jackson is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist and a graduate of the L Judges program. Her great success in both National and International competitions earned her and her partner at the time, Wellington, invitations to the Festival of Champions in 2006 and 2007. This partnership went on to Germany to successfully compete and train under Hubertus Schmidt, at the Grand Prix Level. Melissa secured the ride on Whirlpool, aka “Hooli” in August 2013. She now competes with her new partner, Domani. In their first year at the FEI level Melissa and Domani qualified and competed in the Markel/USDF Developing Prix St. George championships, finishing 4th overall in the country.
I’ve learned so much from Jackson over the years, and I know you’re going to walk away from today’s episode with a great perspective to pull you through the week. If something strikes you during our conversation, I’d love to hear from you! Connect with me on social media @sportpsychworks or through https://www.kafcounselingandsportperformance.com/contact.
Melissa Jackson Bio
Melissa Jackson a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist and a graduate from the L Judges program, has had great success at the National and International levels. She has earned several regional titles and horse of the year awards. She owns and operates Windfall Farms, a small dressage training facility, located in Parrish, Fl.
Melissa has trained with many top dressage athletes and trainers such as Hubertus Schmidt and Johann Hinnemann. She is most known for the success she achieved with her past dressage partner, Wellington. Highlighting their career with an invitation to the Festival of Champions in 2006 and 2007. This partnership went on to Germany to successfully compete and train under Hubertus Schmidt, at the Grand Prix Level.
Melissa secured the ride on Whirlpool, aka “Hooli” in August 2013. With many career highlights together including USDF Region 3 Intermediate Champion and Prix St. George reserve Champion. They competed in the 2014 Festival of Champions, finishing 11th. And finish their career together by competing back to back years in the 2015 Festival of Champions.
With the support of her husband, John, and daughters, Jessica and Faith, Melissa is able to pursue her lifelong dream of one day representing the United States. They have recently purchased a new partner, Domani. In their first year at the FEI level Melissa and Domani qualified and competed in the Markel/USDF Developing Prix St. George championships, finishing 4th overall in the country. She feels thankful and blessed to have an amazing family, happy, healthy horses, and such supportive clients and friends.