Wisdom in dressage.

Wisdom in dressage.

It can be difficult in dressage to find the wisdom. Much of what is publicly promoted as classical dressage is really just 19th century military riding.

It may be useful to keep in mind that dressage as we see it practiced today seems to have something to do with riding around in a rectangle with letters on the sides but that this is a new phenomena created by the military to encourage officers to ride in their free time.

Real dressage was always about the training of the riding horse. That dressage is much older and extends itself back to the 16th century but the really old classical dressage goes back much further to 500 BC. All of it was about creating a good riding horse.

One can even take it back further to about 4000 BC when the horse was first domesticated. This most ancient of arts was the ground for the training of the noble mind as well as the horse.

Learning to command oneself was always a part of the equestrian tradition and it is this which must precede the training of the horse. How can we educate the horse if we ourselves have not come to some connection with our body, mind and feelings.

It was the realization that subjective discipline was needed to work with the horse which lead the nobility to establish schools to teach their children the mysteries of dressage and most of these early traditions where transmitted verbally.

So it is today that the wisdom has been lost in the sea of glitter and glamour but we can recover it by a concerted effort to find our nobility. We may not have been born of noble parentage but we all come from the nobility of man and so it is possible to find in ourselves the inner radiance which can enlighten our dressage.

Whenever kindness, gentleness and lightness can be found we touch our nobility. In each of us and the horse there is a natural goodness which is never lost but all too often remains hidden. Find the wisdom of dressage by opening up to this goodness in you and by sharing the kindness in your heart with your horse.

This is the way to find real power in dressage. Open, study and practice the joyful discipline of the art. Oh, and by the way, the lettered ring stuff, is not very important.