Where is the profundity of dressage today? Certainly dressage as become intensely complex but complexity is not the same as when something is profound.
Profound speaks to depth and implies both intellectual and emotional components. Many times what is the most profound is found not in complexity but instead in the simplicity of something.
The word profound itself is from Latin and is “before bottom” (pro- before + fundus bottom ). Is your dressage profound? How deep does it touch you? Does your connection with the horse reach into the depth of your being?
Complexity is different. It is more about the parts which surround something. A computer is complex but it is not necessarily profound.
Complex is from also from the Latin complexus meaning surrounding, or embrace. When we say dressage is complex, we imply that each part is surrounded or embraced by other parts.
Complexity can arise from understanding the fullness of something or our confusion about something. The first can be profound while the second is not.
Behind what is complex is always a chain of simple things which are surrounded by detail. The details in complex situations are the distractions which conceal simplicity.
The disciplined mind can enter into simplicity and still embrace the complexity of something. Dressage is always simple and yet for us to embrace it profound side, we must not be distracted by its complexity.
What is profound is how our simple love for the horse can travel so deeply into our hearts and minds. Complexity is often the shield we use to deny this connection but once we embrace the profundity of dressage, the complexity fades and we see all of our dressage as simple.
This riddle, a play on words, is the prayer of one horseman for all to discover profound simplicity of dressage. Removed from its superficial complexities, we can find in dressage the way of kindness and gentle touch. We can become carriers of light to our horses and ourselves in a dressage which horses cry for.