In our work with the horse can put our whole heart into what we do, but if we freeze into a fixed mindset, we setting up stress and resistance in the horse. Instead, we could just open ourselves up and try to work with the same forward energy we are told is necessary to work the horse. Forward for us is in a curiosity, wondering where this experience with the horse will lead and so we find the courage to experiment with how we are led and lead. This kind of openness of mind is inquisitive and captures the spirit of enthusiasm which creates a presence which is able to play properly in space.
What is called control, when properly understood, is the simple perception and relationship with the space which is present in the mutual recognition of each other (horse and human). Our aids are really just a translucent container in which we envelop the horse with love and kindness. It is the cradle from which we give birth to a common and joyful experience with the horse. These two factors, space and container, must be kind for their only substance is that density which either the horse or our minds give to them.
To see this as a truth is to understand dressage which can only be light and kind. The only force which can flow from such a situation are those forces which are permitted. These energies are the elements which permit movement to correctly arise. What is correct in such a context is an evolution of awareness. It is not a standard imposed but the growth of what is. This is a dressage which leaves its neurosis behind and learns to work with what is present.
Each of us is the translator, transformer and director of the energies which are naturally present in the relationship with the horse. In this, tread with care and gentle awareness for the glory and brilliance of our dressage rests in the horse and not in any external expert. The best advice is heard with an open heart and a clear mind and this is what we each must attend to for the sake of the horse and in the end for our own sake.