In your dressage, reflect on the textures of the energies as they manifest. What makes it all work is finding the flow in whatever it is that you seek to achieve at any given moment.The problem with such reflections are that we do not have a vocabulary to express such ideas. We can speak of more or less, but little else. The old masters resolved this dilemma by working with their science; the elements.
The elements where declared unscientific and superstitious and fell into disuse in the late 18th and 19th century. So a system which had been in popular use for over 3000 years was cast aside and with it a collection of metaphors which created dressage vanished and with this loss, dressage became an art without reasons,
To this day, we have not fully connected with science. Our dressage consists of making these disconnections justified by invocation of traditions and habits devoid of reason. We also declare things artistic and justify “feel” without reason in an attempt to explain these textures without being able to find proper language.
So it is that we do things because that is how we do them. We wear spurs, use double bridles, and many other devices because that is what is done. We attempt to use after the fact reasons to science our view. Why shouldn’t our dressage have clear reason in all aspects of practice?
We have certainly muddled along, but to understand and teach is to either to restore the old ways or to invent new language. The former is the only way really for of what use would new words be for something which is without substance and lost in an ocean of feel.
Hence, we adopt or restore the poetic metaphors of the past to help us examine the equestrian experience and with that risk the dismissal of those who choose to not see. Good dressage is not magic, but rather the texture of the relationship between human and horse. What is called for is language which examines the texture of the experience in a more intimate fashion,
We find hot and cold, moist and dry. We express things as earth, water, fire or air and we give worship to the element of space which draws it all together. What is cardinal, mutable or fixed within each element, but a way of clearly identifying and codifying the texture of the equestrian experience. A dressage based in strict science fails to allow the horse the freedom to express its feelings and so finds itself in conflict. Yes, feeling may be sloppy, but it cannot and should not be dismissed and good dressage rests on the feeling of the horse and the rider’s willingness to harmonize with it.