We step into an area with a horse. A stall a paddock enables us to have contact with one horse. If we step into a field which contains more than one horse, we no longer experience a horse but now experience horses. That, of course, may be similar but it is different and for our purpose we will only consider the singular case.
Here is the place from which dressage starts; one horse, one human, one space. If the space is too large the horse’s mind, and even our minds are divided but a 12X12 stall is a space which gently convenes a convergence of minds.
What does this mean and to what end? There are simple sentences we use to convey intent in such a place but let’s look at closer than the superficial intention in which we allow our minds speed by.
The term “meaning” relates to the Old High German “meinen” which is to have in mind, So what do we have in mind? There is the obvious; we want to catch the horse, pet the horse or move the horse. These are superficial intentions but what if we have in the mind another purpose or intention?
If our intent is deeper how do we proceed? What purpose do we seek to serve or intend to convey, show, or indicate to the horse. What is the meaning of this moment in time? Is there a deeper significance or importance?
This is the sacred moment in which dressage starts. We see meaning here or not. We choose at this very moment what to show from in our mind or to find what is in the horse’s mind. If it is the relationship we take to both minds, the first action is a nonaction; we wait. We pause and rest in this precious moment and see if the horse would find the meaning; we do no press, but we wait to see.
In such precious time, we can go full speed with our mind and body and aggressively press our intention or we can wait and if we wait what then? Under this, deeply hidden in the simplicity in such a moment there is a special secret which can be found.
The untrained mind, in its hurried intent, finds nothing of value here because no-thing is present but to those willing to wait, a secret reveals itself. Energy starts to flow and circulate. So much happens which words do not find but here is a dressage which flys by those who are not prepared.
So here is something shared which is easily dismissed and of no value or meaning unless one would bring a mind of peace, content in itself which waits for what then would unfold. Such a mind is not stolen away but rests in compassion with the horse. No measurements are taken or judgements passed in this the space which is primordially free. Here trust and confidence are born from one sacred moment.