So I took the “Ponder this” that I just posted and I did: I pondered it more deeply and wrote it out for you to enjoy (or so we hope):
“Keeping dressage simple is only hard because of a belief in complexity. The desire for numerous complexities obscures the naturally present wisdom present in the horse. One is present and seeing two starts obscuration and yet one does breath. To, from, up, down, front to rear, rear to front, right to left, left to right and two diagonals are the ten directions. The circles blend the lines. Let movement occur and find harmony in what arises. The masculine and feminine always dance; join in, feel. Do not grasp with the mind or body. Find this dressage.Essence is always present. Details always abound. The reduction of the complex and the vision of simplicity in a myriad of details is why one trains a mind. Gentle and sacred grow and flow when the work connects to goodness in dressage.”
Reflecting more deeply, we can see:This idea speaks to the opening of the mind and body to the horse’s movements.. This is not a contrived state, but an experience which arises from a proper relationship with the earth. It speaks to a fluidity which allows the joints to play (water).
When earth and water are dutifully balanced, there is a heating up in the horse and the element of fire appears.This fire is not emotional excitement, despite some similarity to it. It arises spontaneously from primordial confidence which appears as the element air.
The fire and air control each other and warm the earth (physical form) and circulate the water (emotional conductivity). This is referred to in the old ways as squaring the circle. Dry and moist, hot and cold find their balance and all circulate. What is coarse is refined and the horse and rider radiate a kind of golden lightness.
This is ancient science in which all masters were at one time educated in. Dressage originated in such thought, but such thinking was stripped away as unscientific in the late 18th and through the 19th century. In the 20th century such thinking was totally dismissed (as it would be today by those who do not understand the symbology of a psychological universe).
Good dressage does not require such thought but such thoughts clarify the teaching of the past and form a solid rational way of working with the mind of the horses and riders of today. It also links us to the past, showing us a wisdom which is almost 3000 years old. The reason such thinking lasted so long was simply that it worked and it still does today. It confirms what science seems to have “discovered” about the horse.