When I was younger, I had the pleasure of watching several real masters work with horses. Not all where classically trained, but all of them were magical with the horses they worked.
As I watched, there was an obvious skill in play, that much I could see, but it was what I could not see which made the greatest impression. I could feel a rapport between the horse and trainer.
I have seen quite a few very good and skilled trainers work, but in these masters there was in the rapport something more. That rapport felt like a heavy cloud and I could feel a tangible link which was beyond the technical and words.
I thought about this for many years and considered it as a gift from birth. About that I was wrong. It is a very real and tangible “thing” which can be taught and cultivated. That is where my experiences have lead me.
As you read my many posts, you can see that what I write about is more than a recipe book for training. I have sought to chronicle, as best as I could, the nature of the subjective side of classical dressage. I have deliberately stay away from the technicalities. This is not due to a lack of knowledge in this regard. It seemed that if one worked on the subjective side with skill, the technical stuff would find you in your work.
It is that “cloud of rapport” which I could not find in the books that drew me in this different way. I found these master indirectly all were able to make that happen. The practice and discipline of working with the horse overtime changed the way their minds worked and it was this that I wanted to study.
And so I did. I thought understanding this “cloud of rapport” to be the most important thing to learn and so I entered into a lifetime of seeking mastery. I thought that this is what anybody and everybody would desire in the horse world. About that, I was totally wrong. Most people have no interest or else they would be interested if they did not have to work at it.
So I entered into an in depth education into several lineages of masters only wishing to transmit the knowledge of the horse and the great satisfaction of working in a most genuine way. The effect on my life has been profound and the joy of the work amazing, but also there is a great sadness too.
The impermanence of this work and the general lack of discipline and experience is sad. The path is forever the same: generosity, discipline, patience, effort, reflection and wisdom. These are the keys to an unsurpassable dressage. Such dressage lives in the heart of every compassionate horse person and are the forces which creates the “cloud of rapport.” It is not a gift of birth but the uncovering of the best in you with the help of the horse.