“Ponder this: In the use of the aids, each aid has a season. When multiple aids are used, each season must agree. Simple aids are always better because they always know the season. Most of us want only summer aids, but such a thing can never exist. Winter is as important as summer and neither can happen without spring and fall. Enjoying the seasons is the dance of the aids and they flow like circles of love which caress the horse’s mind.
Poetry? No, actually a rare technical post. Reflect on this and allow the seasons to flow.”
Part of understanding this is to be able to transpose the meaning of “seasons” into workable energy. It explains the dynamic of the interaction of the bit with the horse’s mouth. The seasons are about the quality of this interaction. The energy circulates and while it is psychological in nature, it manifests in how the horse takes and uses the bit.
The simplest interaction is in understanding what hot and cold are. A hot mouth is active constantly and a cold one hangs. This is summer and winter. The energy ascends or descends in, respectively, spring or fall.
The three touches and non-touch are, on the human side, the manner to bring about what is called, the” mise en main” (placement in hand). This is the rotation and balance of the seasons.
This all ties into sensations and so in writing about this, perhaps a rather dry and sterile conception may arise, but this is anything, but that. In today’s understanding, one might say, explore the sensuality which is beyond the words. “Science” has no words for this way of working or understanding, but this exploration is very powerful in its effects on the horse.
In classical training, Aristotelian ideas held sway for centuries because these ideas where what the old masters considered science. The mystery in training was rounding the square and this play in the aids was part of that solution in dressage.
Today these ideas have lost there meaning and are not understood, but here was a logical way of relating to the horse which worked for 3000 years. We have relinquished this way of thinking as unscientific for about 200 or so years and as a result have missed the connection the old masters understood.