On Classical Equitation
Commentary on French Classical Riding
Thus in, the proper way, good dressage cultivates the power of harmony and obeying is the only logical choice for the horse to make.
So it is that through touch dressage is always welcomed by the horse. If this is not so, then your training is something other than dressage.
This is a sketch of the eight parts of the path, but the real way is beyond words. Language is only an attempt to represent experience with symbols. It is not experience itself, hence the old masters recognize that the reduction of dressage into words is a fool’s errand which will forever corrupt itself.
This is the circle of connection and control which is present in good dressage. It exists in a confidence which is without words, established in kind and noble connection. Its beauty is without equal and it is a circle in place and a spiral over time. It only ends when life does.
We create resistance and then resist the resistance we create. We are trapped in the cycle of our own aggressions.
There is only one authority on dressage; the horse.
…masters exist and work quietly. The nature of the work at this level is not public and they leave the mass mind of the horse world far behind. Their experience is their credentials.
It is all simply love in action.
We expect to find in dressage a magical means to deal with the horse and vent our aggressions and hangups in the training.
Train the mind first and as the training matures, you will find the body will develop itself.
This is a four stage training in which aggression has no place. The objects of training need not be driven by our aggressions and our ambitions but instead we find that they naturally arise when the relationship with the horse is properly grounded.
Dressage is not about thought or rules. It is about the union of the horse’s wisdom with human experience.
Keeping due measure is not just the point of the proper use and understanding of the aids but it is also about a sense of standards that are not absolute for every horse but are a measure that grows and changes with every horse’s individual development.
This is an interesting dressage. The dressage of goodness first starts with just what is and learns to flirt with what could be until it just is.
This simple process is a matter of consistent discipline of our minds joined with patient practice. It is gentleness which joins it all together.
The dressage of goodness finds orientation, declares its space and links not as a superior to the horse but as a partner
The real value of dressage is not in objective standards, but in subjective experience and it takes the time it takes to join the inner and outer work.
A dressage of goodness is possible; deceptively meek, it controls with an invisible hand not by fighting the horses force but by cooperation with the energies present and directing those forces to a mutually desirable end.