The principle of wisdom in dressage is to learn to be aware and take the hints that the horse provides. The ability to find proper meaning to those hints is dressage.
Underneath it all the horse functions like a mirror and so what comes up in a ride is never about the horse being naughty or bad but about you demonstrating these qualities. Of course, given a choice, it is easier to deny this than to even consider the the problems of resistance which arise in dressage is the mirage you create in your own mind.
The more you seek to hold on to any view the more you dull the mind. Training is not about the imposition of your will on the horse but of the suppleness of mind which brings you both together.
So it is that we lose our mind but it does not seem like that. It seems like our aggressions save and carry the day. We win, yes but in winning we become more and more isolated not just from the horse but also ourselves.
The kind of strategy, I would wish to report, does not work but in fact it does work. Aggression is the number one way of training and handling horses. It is so common as to be unseen. “That is just the way it is done.”
Most of us, know there is something fundamentally wrong in dressage but we doubt our own perceptions because, “well, everyone is doing it.”
So it is that we yearn for something else. What we do not know but whatever it must be will be in accord in some way with what we already know, but it cannot be like that. It can never be about what we know. It is always about what the horse feels and in this regard our imaginations run every which way.
To lose our minds is to find our mind; the mind which joins us to the horse. Sadly it is not the same mind which joins us to the horse world, other humans or dressage as it is being played out today.
Of course, one would prefer all of this to be untrue but until you find dressage which is gentle and kind; until you find yourself genuine and sad and at the same time immersed in joy and harmony, you will always have that small voice telling you it is not quite right. So gentle and precious is the way, so simple and slow is this cradle of kindness that no doubts arise.
Poetry to some, dressage to others and in either case, it is a mixing of two minds willing to be lost in each other. Goodness is hard to find because it is so obvious.