Where is the brilliance in modern dressage? Where does it show any profundity? Is your dressage brilliant and profound?
Brilliant : markedly rich or conspicuous in quality.
Profound : having very great depth : extending far below the surface.
Where in modern riding would these two adjectives apply? It would seem that we are surrounded by work which demonstrates neither of these attributes. In fact, even modern competitive dressage judges are almost unanimous in proving the superficiality of modern riding.
If this were not so then, how then can you explain that 5 and 6’s are the most common marks on dressage tests. It seems the only way out of this was the FEI telling the judges to award higher scores at international competitions and so now mediocrity via that directive is now measured in 7 and 8’s.
Isn’t tragic that instead of engaging in meaningful education to improve dressage, the way forward is to get judges to score higher? That to me would seem to be the very definition of superficiality on an institutional scale.
So how can we help change this? Find the brilliance and profundity in your own work. Look deeper into what you are doing with the horse. Discover, or should it be said, uncover the brilliance which is present in every horse and in every ride. Be profound in the examination of what you do with your horse.
What you will discover is that this wonderful discipline called dressage can bring to you a deeper and greater joy. This is what good equestrian instruction is about; uncover brilliance and experience that which is profound in the fabric of the work which is to locate the best of yourself and the horse.
What is brilliant and profound is not created in the work it is discover when you bring your tender heart into the work. Were we to just to open up the door and let the horse in, dressage would change right on the spot into what it was always meant to be; the unfolding of our own nobility through the horse.