To consider the development of your skills in dressage involves renunciation. Of course, the way that term is commonly used is in a negative sense. Renunciation is usually used in reference to pleasure but here the meaning is very different.
What needs to be renounced are those things which block us from coming closer to the horse. A lot of what is practiced in modern dressage must be renounced if one is to become a partner to the horse.
In fact, while competition itself does not need to be given up, we must radically change our attitude toward it. One must seriously determine and reflect on the value of competition. This usually means, that as your experience deepens competition’s value decreases.
We cultivate what is caring and the ability to discriminate so as to know what we need to do to form a healthy relationship with the horse. So it is that we surrender what does not bring us closer to the horse.
We change our way of thinking and how we use our bodies and cultivate the reflexes of a horse person. We open ourselves up fully to the feeling of our experience with the horse.
This is part of the price we pay to become the horse person the horse wants to know. Good dressage is not a determination we make but the one the horse makes about who and what we are.