According to the legends, there was a time in which certain “old masters” existed who worked horses from a place of peace and accomplish great feats with the horse. These masters governed the horse by wise and compassionate use of the aids and were able to “reason” with the horse and educate riders without error.
The horse people they trained were equally kind and learned, so that, in general, there arose a golden age of equitation. Neither before or since has such a wonderful place been found. It was a model world in which the horse and human achieved the highest good.
So, when was this time? Some would say that such a place existed right before the French revolution as the school of Versailles and while equitation has never reached such a height since, it is unlikely that it was the horse heaven of the myth.
The fact is that since antiquity in all periods and all times the legend was known. One of the earliest record of such a place having actually existed in the history of Sicily which is the land from which a dressage in lightness arose which in the Italian Renaissance became the start of modern dressage.
In the real world, the world in which you and I live, what value is there to such a story? What is the point? Why bother?
Whether or not such a time, place or people ever really existed is not really important because we have always been at the door to such brilliant equitation by opening ourselves up to potential that is within every horse and human heart. In honoring this legend, we open ourselves up to an effort to constantly and consistently seek something better for ourselves and our horses.
You are the hope of the old masters, today and every day you work with your horse. We are also the only hope our horses have for a better life. Keep the dream alive and let it help power your efforts to be the best you can be with and for you horse.