There is a lot of glamour and illusion in the dressage world. Both of these create a dream state in the rider and block us from seeing and working with the real horse.
Self-deception depend upon the dream world, the point of which is to not do things which wake you up to see what is happening now. Classical dressage is one such idea which becomes like a cloak and enables you to see what you would like to see, rather than what you are now seeing. Credentials of various sort or competitive prizes are another way to cloak.
Self-deception in dressage takes on many stories but all of them manifests in trying to create or recreate a dream world which produces the romanticized version of the horse/human relationship in a dream experience. This cloud of self deception hides us from the joy of working with the real horse who is light, joyful and kind and sticks us with the cheeky, resistant and difficult horse.
Finding this responsive joyful animal is just a matter of removing the dream created by our own self deception. The problem with this is how angry people get when the dream is exposed or even threatened. They would rather withdrawn when there is any chance of awakening, but to really train the horse properly you must see beyond the dream.
To work with the horse is to awaken from the dream and lay down the storylines. There is no method and no credentials which matter more than the engagement in this very moment with the horse. No stories, no excuses, just authentic presence and enough self forgiveness to allow yourself to experience the horse right then, right now. There is a goodness in this moment and beautiful simplicity. Find it and try to be awake for your horse.
To awaken is to find the presence of a dressage of kindness that only cares about the horse because it really sees the horse and what is. All of us can do this. It is just a matter of awakening.