To really find genuine dressage means a responsibility to help the horse. Our ideas about the horse can only create chaos if we try to impose them on the horse and so the first rule of good dressage is to listen.
Many people have theories about what the horse needs. The history of dressage is a record of these theories. Some people think that the horse needs a governing by strict rules of right and wrong; some people think that the horse needs equality; some people think that technology will liberate the horse; some people think that technology destroy the horse.
The teachings in classical equitation are not based on converting the world to another theory. The premise of the vision cultivated in good dressage is that, in order to establish an enlightened relationship with the horse, we need to discover what inherently we have to offer the horse. Even if we only have confusion, we offer it to the horse rather than impose it on the horse.
So, to begin with, we should make an effort to examine our own experience, in order to see what it contains that is of value in helping ourselves and the horse to uplift their existence. We look into what is present and approach with a kind of reverence and gentle examination. Surrendering certain outcome and fear, we cautiously inquire with a mind that is both present and compassionate.
Can such a dressage exist? Can we put aggression and prejudice aside? Certainly this is a special practice and the ground for a noble dressage. Who teaches this? While we may not know, what we all certainly can no who practices this. It is us, the I, who approaches with only our humility and yet, isn’t this all that can be done?
We can ask again, “who teaches this?” and we wait and experience each moment and feeling until the answer comes back to us, “I teach this, for this is what I witness.” Mystical dressage? Yes, may be but it is also practical because when we lay down our pretenses and fears, we can learn to see the horse. Being still in what moves and learning to move that which is still is to link to the horse’s body and mind.
One who approaches with prejudice and aggression cannot find much, but they certainly can win prizes, but what they lose is all hope of seeing the horse; like reading a poem mechanically, the words are said but the meaning is lost. Like a joke missing the punch line, the humor and joy are lost and we find a dressage that rules over corpses.
Awaken and find the dressage of nobility by giving up all that we know and simply find the way to be by resting you judgements. Kindness is dwelling in the source and allowing goodness it proper place and this is something we all have in us.