As long as our approach to dressage is based upon enriching ego, then it is a form of materialism which places the horse last. it is a self-destructive process which is quite suicidal rather than a creative process.
All the promises of dressage that we have heard are pure seduction. We expect the teachings to solve all our problems with the horse.
We expect to find in dressage a magical means to deal with the horse and vent our aggressions and hangups in the training. But eventually we begin to realize that this magical horsemanship is not going to happen.
It is disappointing to realize that we must work both inwardly and outwardly on ourselves and cultivate an awareness of the horse. At some point, one might even realize that after owning several horses that our money cannot save us or there is no magical power in this or that school of dressage.
Of course, we can put this off by hiring a trainer to do the work but then our relationship with the horse becomes a sort of mythological story which supports our ego.
It is disappointing to realize that we have to give up our expectations, and rather than build on the basis of our preconceptions about the horse and dressage, we must allow ourselves to be disappointed with our own work in order to progress with the horse. This means we must surrendering our ego and our desire for achievement and get down to doing the real work. If we can open to the horse, we then can be educated by the horse and surrender our “ego stories” and learn to listen with care to the moment to moment interactions which occur in training.
This is noble horsemanship and genuine dressage which is not separate from the horse and not susceptible to objectification. We then find the gold inlaid in the fabric of authentic dressage.