What time?

What time?

Time does not necessarily bring wisdom but in dressage, wisdom brings time. As soon as we slow down we create space in which the horse can find its confidence.

Just like us, the first consideration in entering into a relationship is to feel safe. The horse feels much safer when things slow down. The horse needs time to think and the sense of safety allows curiosity to arise in the situation.

Curiosity is the beginning of mental engagement which always precedes physical engagement. The issue in collection is not to teach the horse to bring its legs under itself. All horses already know how that is done, but instead the horse must do so without the emotions creating mental and physical disruptions.

Slowness is the only way. Once the mind can follow and follows without fear then the movement can be quick without the inner speed. This is a peculiarity of mind. Time is a function of mind. Psychological time has nothing to do with clock time and emotion is the strongest influence of that sense of time.

Everything can be said to be about timing in dressage but for the educated horse person, timing is not a strict objective meter but a soft subjective one which loosely embraces the mechanics of movement.

To understand the horse is not about your time or your timing but rather it is about the ability to find and harmonize with the horse’s sense of time. To achieve this, especially at the start is to learn to work very slowly.

This is finding the music in the horse and being willing to turn the volume down on the music in your own head. Good time knows how to share properly moments and movement with the horse and finding common time is called good dressage.