“Equestrian art, perhaps more than any other, is closely related to the wisdom of life. Many of the same principles may be applied as a line of conduct to follow. The horse teaches us self-control, constancy and the ability to understand what goes on in the mind and the feelings of another creature, qualities that are important throughout our lives. Moreover from this relationship with his horse the rider will learn that only kindness and mutual understanding will bring about achievement of highest perfection.”
– Alois Podhajsky, Former director of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna
The pursuit of creating a oneness between the horse and rider is an ideal to strive for. An ideal is a principle or value that one actively pursues as a goal. (wikipedia online) One of the most difficult things to do when riding is to learn how to do nothing. Think about how a horse can feel a small fly. The lightest touch can be felt by the horse. The horse can feel your emotion and your thoughts. They need us to be their leaders, confidants and partners in the dance of riding.
The symbiotic relationship between horse and rider truly emphasizes the beauty of how much in harmony two creatures can become together. But this isn’t achieved easily. There are many internal and physical obstacles that need to be overcome before both the horse and rider are able to begin the journey towards a true harmonious partnership.
It is the ability to see things objectively, to allow the other to be themselves, to identify and acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses that allows each partner to reach their maximum potential.