Due measure

Due measure

In dressage, some think that to be correct is about a physical location and appearance. Correctness is not something imposed on the horse. One has to realize and understand that correctness is something that one needs to impose on yourself first.

To make this correction takes extreme kindness and gentleness and is much easier if you learn to like yourself first. It takes a long time before one can understand what correctness is really about and it is not about some ideal at all.

Correctness is about a way of moving and being which is congruent with the life force and extended far deeper than physical appearance. It is found by learning to listen. What makes dressage good is listening to the horse with modesty (modesty is from the Latin, modestus which means, “keeping due measure”)

To understand the idea of due measure is a difficult idea to embrace because it takes initially a lot of faith/feel in that one must have a sense of the complete horse/human condition. When that feel/faith is misplaced through either personal or cultural distortions, what results is a neurotic kind of dressage.

There is another way that at sense of due measure arises and that is through an extensive experience with working with enough horses over a long enough time. In this modern day such experience is hard to come by.

Good and kindly instructors can facilitate modesty through true teaching or by example, but while there are good and kindly intended instructors out there, few have the education and experience to fill the gap. At this time, I should have some clever way or idea of the solution to this problem, but I don’t.

The restoration of our own sanity is the solution. This special listening and beautiful modesty must be found.  One must learn to cure your own neurotic dressage. This is certainly fine, once you can see your own neurotic insanity. This is a tall order, however, when one is convinced that everything is just fine as the majority of us are. The only mirror to the problem is the horse and the mass neurotic dressage mind only sees the defective horse and not a beautiful art turn into an insane sport.