The aids we create are as real as our perceptions of them. The aids the horse makes are what is real for the horse. Between the two is an awareness; a feeling and a thought, these come and go but here is the world which is found in touch.
Physical or not, we and the horse touch through attention. Attention is only fully aware when meaning arises and in this there is always a cadence.
Touch is the foundation and in non touch we come to know something about the nature of touch. Between what is and what is not is the world of mind. When authentic confidence arises no deception is present but in meaning we understand truth or find false prophets by this thing which we call mind turns.
So much space is present in our work in dressage. False confidence collapses space. It permits mind to only look in the direction of its desire. This is the door to our passion, ignorance and aggressions. To advance in our relationship with the horse is to see not only the objects of our dressage but the space in which it is created and to find the space in our touch.
Contrast is the leap between points of orientation. We come to understand the aids not in terms of fixed points but in terms of a range through space and time. When we find the life force true, we find the cadence of our aids and then can converge dynamically with the horse’s time. This is called harmony.
You know you have entered into this space in harmony, not just by lightness, because lightness can be false, but because of softness. Softness is the bridge we build together with the horse. It asks of both the horse and human, ” Are you there” and the answer in harmony is “Yes, my love, I am here for you.”
Let this be practical and let space find you. Hold to nothing but kindness-wise. The compassion which is true is only the compassion which is wise. Kindness knows, if true, only harmonious touch. Without judgments we come to find self carriage born of two (horse and human) which manifests as one.
This is beautiful dressage. Softly it is said and softly it is answered. All which is contrived has passed and what is left is a beautiful dance in space and time, for this is what horses wait for and masters seek. This is never beyond you. It is always there if you can truly see the space.