The real power in dressage is not found in the horse’s movements or in our dominion over the horse but instead lies in the dominion over ourselves. Real leadership is what is required in good dressage and this is not achieved by keeping the horse down through aggression and submission but rather in uplifting the horse through our clear seeing.
What is there to see in the horse? Some see a servant but as one looks closer, we can see the heart and mind of a small child in the horse. We do not need to suppress our children but instead we need to lift them up and help them find the goodness in life.
We can only show the horse the goodness that we have in our self through our kind and tender regard. This is the first door to upper level work. The second door is in the joy of the discipline that we undertake together. Our kindness is precise and free of doubt.
We share confidence in our work together and for this to arise means that we undertake an education which we share with the horse. In this simple way we learn to listen and cultivate a heartfelt precision.
The third door opens when we freely welcome the horse into our life and the horse invites us into its life. This is the manifestation of trust which is forged in kindness and the aids which are free from doubt. Simple and direct we find the centaur in us and we share our humanity with the horse.
This is the golden nectar of dressage. We and the horse offer each other our best. We and the horse have learned how both to give our best and to accept the best that we both have to offer.
To see this is not fanciful nor imagined flight of fantasy but an actual experience we share with the horse. We have learned how to find and walk through the three doors of dressage and in this we find a brilliant and glorious dressage.